A bad investment may not be the result of market fluctuations. A false representation inducing and leading to an investment loss may be actionable at law.
Often there is a promised high-yield on an investment in a company, project or property. Sometimes a loss occurs from a scheme where there is no intention by those entrusted with an investment to make the promised purchase or transfer.
In Ontario, civil lawsuits for the victims of investment fraud have often been framed as claims for deceit, fraudulent misrepresentation, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and restitution.
Increasingly though, plaintiffs in lawsuits simply claim damages for losses arising directly from the tort of civil fraud.
The leading case on civil fraud in Canada is the Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 in Hryniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, and in that case civil fraud is defined this way “… the tort of civil fraud has four elements, which must be proven on a balance of probabilities: (1) a false representation by the defendant; (2) some level of knowledge of the falsehood of the representation on the part of the defendant (whether knowledge or recklessness); (3) the false representation caused the plaintiff to act; and (4) the plaintiff’s actions resulted in a loss.”