A Video Explaining the Evidence Needed to Prove Fraud


What is Evidence?

See the full video at https://youtu.be/snar91UYIxY

Direct Evidence

Direct evidence is proof that tends to show existence of a fact in question without the intervention of the proof of any fact. It includes testimony that tends to prove or disprove a fact in issue directly, such as eye-witness testimony or a confession.

Sometimes, direct evidence may not exist because records have been destroyed in a fire, destroyed by water, stolen, discarded, or eaten by vermin.

If direct evidence does not exist for any reason, circumstantial evidence must be produced to prove the fraud.

As important as direct evidence is to the proof of fraud or attempted fraud, but, as courts have noted in the past, it can be difficult to obtain direct evidence of something so internal as intent to commit fraud. [United States v. Washington, 715 F.3d 975, 980 (6th Cir. 2013)]. Jurors are therefore free to consider circumstantial evidence and draw reasonable inferences from it. In United States v. Hawkins (6th Cir., 2019) circumstantial evidence was sufficient to allow a jury to convict.

Circumstantial Evidence

Circumstantial evidence is all evidence of an indirect nature when the existence of the principal fact is deduced from evidentiary facts by a process of probability reasoning. The investigator takes circumstantial evidence and uses deductive reasoning to reach a conclusion. Circumstantial evidence and the deductions of a professional investigator are often more reliable than direct evidence like eye-witness testimony. Circumstantial evidence is sufficient to establish proof of arson and other criminal activities. [Hoosier Insurance Company, Inc. v. Mangino, 419 N.E. 2d 978, 986 (Ind. App. 1981)].


© 2020 – Barry Zalma

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant  specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.

Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award.

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