Are You a Legal Professional?

FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.

Fraud

fraud n

[Latin fraud - fraus ]
1 a : any act, expression, omission, or concealment calculated to deceive another to his or her disadvantage
;specif
: a misrepresentation or concealment with reference to some fact material to a transaction that is made with knowledge of its falsity or in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity and with the intent to deceive another and that is reasonably relied on by the other who is injured thereby
b : the affirmative defense of having acted in response to a fraud
2 : the crime or tort of committing fraud [convicted of securities ] see also misrepresentation NOTE: A tort action based on fraud is also referred to as an action of deceit.

actual fraud
: fraud committed with the actual intent to deceive and thereby injure another called also fraud in fact compare constructive fraud in this entry

collateral fraud
: extrinsic fraud in this entry

constructive fraud
: conduct that is considered fraud under the law despite the absence of an intent to deceive because it has the same consequences as an actual fraud would have and it is against public interests (as because of the violation of a public or private trust or confidence, the breach of a fiduciary duty, or the use of undue influence) called also legal fraud compare actual fraud in this entry

equitable fraud
: constructive fraud in this entry used esp. in New Jersey

extrinsic fraud
: fraud (as that involved in making a false offer of compromise) that induces one not to present a case in court or deprives one of the opportunity to be heard
;also
: fraud that is not involved in the actual issues presented to a court and that prevents a full and fair hearing called also collateral fraud compare intrinsic fraud in this entry

fraud in fact
: actual fraud in this entry

fraud in law
: fraud that is presumed to have occurred in light of the circumstances irrespective of intent to deceive

fraud in the factum
: fraud in which the deception causes the other party to misunderstand the nature of the transaction in which he or she is engaging esp. with regard to the contents of an instrument (as a contract or promissory note) called also fraud in the execution compare fraud in the inducement in this entry

fraud in the inducement
: fraud in which the deception leads the other party to engage in a transaction the nature of which he or she understands compare fraud in the factum in this entry

fraud on the court
: fraud involving conduct that undermines the integrity of the judicial process (as by improperly influencing a judge, jury, or other court personnel)
;also
: extrinsic fraud in this entry

intrinsic fraud
: fraud (as by the use of false or forged documents, false claims, or perjured testimony) that deceives the trier of fact and results in a judgment in favor of the party perpetrating the fraud compare extrinsic fraud in this entry

legal fraud
1 : constructive fraud in this entry
2 : actual fraud in this entry used esp. in New Jersey

mail fraud
: fraud committed by use of the postal service esp. as described in title 18 section 1341 of the U.S. Code

wire fraud
: fraud committed by using a means of electronic communication (as a telephone) see also Wire Fraud Act in the Important Laws section



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.