fraud | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

In the criminal law context, fraud refers to the act of deceiving or defrauding another person or entity for the purpose of gaining something of value, such as money, property, or services.

Fraud is considered a white-collar crime, and it can be committed in a variety of ways, such as through false representations, concealment of material facts, or misuse of a position of trust.

Fraud is generally considered to be a crime of deception, and it is usually composed of several elements, such as:

      • Material misrepresentation of facts, which means making a false statement or withholding important information
      • Intent to deceive, which means the individual committing the fraud knew what they were doing was false and meant to deceive the victim
      • Reliance on the misrepresentation, which means the victim of the fraud relied on the false statement or withholding information to suffer a loss
      • Resulting in financial or property loss, which means the victim suffered financial or property loss as a result of the deception

Fraud can take many forms, including but not limited to:

      • Ponzi Schemes
      • Identity fraud
      • Investment fraud
      • Insurance fraud
      • Bank fraud
      • Credit card fraud
      • Health care fraud

The punishment for fraud can vary depending on the jurisdiction, the severity of the crime and the amount of loss caused to the victim, but it can range from fines to long-term imprisonment, depending on the specific facts of the case.

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Last Modified: 01/11/2023


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