fraud(redirected from defraud)
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Related to defraud: forge, fraudulence, incontinency
fraudthe gaining of financial advantage by a person who deliberately deceives another person or business, by mispresenting himself.
A deceitful practice. Fraud consists of a misrepresentation of a material fact that is relied upon by another party to his or her detriment.There is no requirement that the misrepresentation be intentional.The thing misrepresented must be a fact; it is very difficult to prove fraud when one fails to fulfill his or her obligations but had good intentions in the beginning.
There are three types of fraud:
1. Intentional fraud. Punitive damages may be assessed for this type of fraud.
2. Negligent fraud. As when one makes a statement recklessly but without any intention to deceive, and someone relies on that statement and is injured when it turns out to be false. One example would be a real estate agent telling a buyer that all appliances are new when, in reality, the agent didn't know but thought they looked new. Depending on the degree of recklessness involved, this type of fraud may or may not support punitive damages.
3. Innocent fraud. As when one takes steps to confirm facts but is perhaps mistaken or given mistaken information, and then relays that information to someone else who relied on it and was injured.
The Statute of Frauds is a rule that says certain contracts must be in writing, including contracts having to do with real estate. It has nothing to do with fraud, per se, except to protect against possible fraud by requiring a writing.