Why do some people that commit fraud is not in jail?

In How would the law in US handles private investigation like this? there is obviously plenty of evidence that a fraud has occured.

I check What crime is commited when a mechanic charges for an unneeded or non-existent service?

And it fits fraud

I asked around how the law treats cases like that in How would the law in US handles private investigation like this?

Many said it's a crime.

Yet the person doesn't go to jail.

This is the discussion in the comment section

So tell me why a company can be caught red handed like this and not get charged ?

Its not illegal to me dishonest, theres no law against liars. You simply punish them by not doing business with them..

thought most fraud cases were considered felonies.

they're selling services they never supplied. That's fraud, which is illegal.

I imagine that the only way it would be worth the effort for this kind of situation would be through a class action lawsuit. And most people who get scammed aren't even aware they are getting scammed.

6 days ago to convict them some one need to sue them and spend a lot of time and money at the end if he can't get a lot of people to class action law suit which most lawers are not intrested to do so

Actually, yeah it's called fraud and there are definitely laws against it. It can be hard to prove, but it's still illegal/stealing.

Notice how some people say that the victim got to sue first. Not really. It's a crime. You don't sue for criminal law. You sue for civil violation. So that doesn't really explain it.

Lack of evidence? Really? C'mon. We got video over there.


The question is different than

How would the law in US handles private investigation like this?

In the former question, I ask how the laws handle this in general. In particular, I am asking if it is legal to video tape someone committing a possible crime without consent. Obviously the fraudster doesn't consent. I read sources where it may not be. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/04/14/crime-for-high-school-student-to-secretly-audio-record-his-tormentors-in-the-classroom/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.4d7c9b9023ae

This question however is very specific. This question actually ask a question inspired by the former question. You can think of this question as derivative or child question of the former question rather than "copy"

This is an obvious case of fraud. If this case is not fraud, then what is fraud? What sort of lie people do to count as "fraud"

The evidence is beyond any doubt. I mean, the only way a DA can't convict with evidence like this what more evidence do we have?

It's not just this case. I've been victim of fraud so many times only to hear latter that it's "civil".

Why is a fraud as obvious as this, not a crime?

So why isn't this guy on jail?

  • How is this different from your previous question How would the law in US handles private investigation like this?
    – Brandin
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 10:52
  • This one is specific. The previous one is general, how do laws deal with. Also the previous one also ask what happens to those recording.
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 10:59
  • Too many unanswered questions for the example. In your example did anyone press charges as a result of the video? Was there an out of court settlement or agreement made? Were the actual employees that were committing fraud sacked as a result? Et cetera.
    – Brandin
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 11:03
  • It's not duplicate. This question do not ask that case in particular. I am asking why obvious fraud like this in general not lead to jail.
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 15:34
  • Do we have to press charged before someone got convicted?
    – user4234
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:12

2 Answers 2


Because they haven't been sentenced to jail.

Why not? Because they haven't been convicted of fraud.

Why not? Because Americans prioritize prosecution of violent crime and other crimes popularly associated with racial minorities.

Why? Because Americans are afraid of racial minorities and feel safer when they are isolated from them.

Why? That's outside the scope of law.SE.

  • 2
    Half of your answer is already outside of the scope of law.se
    – user17707
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 18:21
  • I think questions about why a justice system works the way it does are pretty well within the scope, which explicitly includes "Legal process and procedure" and "Historical legal applications."
    – bdb484
    Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:06
  • 1
    @osdavison I agree with your comment. And the first two lines of the answer ("Because they haven't been sentenced to jail", "Because they haven't been convicted of fraud") are rather tautological, to say the least. Commented Aug 23, 2018 at 19:16
  • This is a very good speculation. Basically the issue is proprietorial priority.
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 15:40
  • Do you have source that US government does not prioritize fraud prosecution?
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 15:46

In the U.S., at least in the vast majority of states, law enforcement and prosecutors have no legal obligation to bring charges against someone even if someone files a complaint with law enforcement or a prosecutor's office and provides all of the evidence needed to assure a conviction.

Not every crime committed is prosecuted and not every crime prosecuted results in a conviction or incarceration.

Law enforcement and prosecutors often make white collar crime their lowest priority as a matter of policy, particularly when a lawsuit against the guilty party would provide a full remedy.

Victims often prefer that fraud perpetrators not be criminally charged or incarcerated as this reduced the ability of fraud perpetrators to pay compensation to the victims in a civil lawsuit or settlement.

  • Not full of remedy. If I got defrauded like that, I would rather the vermin go to jail than spending tons of money in court just to get measly $500 back. I want to know that trading in a specific country is save
    – user4234
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 16:34
  • @SharenEayrs Revenge is not compensation or a remedy to you.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 20:33
  • What about public interests not to get defrauded. I would want to live in a state where this scoundrel is gone and I am sure most american voters too.
    – user4234
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 4:26
  • @SharenEayrs The people entrusted with the power to make the decisions, by and large, do not share your priorities, and for the most part, it is voters who put them where they are and they are trying to serve the interests of the people who voted for them.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 6:40
  • I see. That makes some sense. So how does voting works? How does voting shape DA motivation?
    – user4234
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:14

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