I have written often about the interplay between the fraudulent and deceptive conduct of fraudsters, on the one hand, and the obligation of those who claim to have been defrauded to act reasonably and prudently to protect themselves from being misled, on the other hand. Clearly, no matter how egregious the fraudulent conduct may be, the alleged victim must act reasonably and justifiably in relying upon the alleged misrepresentations and investigating the truth. This affects not only the substantive elements of the cause of action for fraud (justifiable reliance), but also the statute of limitations governing fraud claims.
In order to take advantage of the extended statute of limitations for actual fraud, the party instituting an action for fraud more than six years after the fraudulent conduct was committed still has the benefit of an additional two years to bring the action if it had not previously discovered the fraud nor could have discovered the fraud using “reasonable diligence.” See CPLR 213(8).
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