Fraud – a knowing misrepresentation or knowing concealment of a material fact made to induce another to act to his or her detriment


n. (14c.) 1. A knowing misrepresentation or knowing concealment of a material fact made to induce another to act to his or her detriment.  Fraud is usually a tort, but in some cases (especially when the conduct is willful) may be a crime.” [1]


intentional fraud

Excerpt(s) from Literature:

     Excerpt from John Willard’s A Treatise on Equity Jurisprudence (1879):

     “Fraud has been defined to be any kind of artifice by which another is deceived. Hence, all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling, & other unfair way that is used to cheat any one, is to be considered as fraud.[2]

(additional definitions)

“A reckless misrepresentation made without justified belief in its truth to induce another person to act.  3. A tort arising from a knowing or reckless misrepresentation or concealment of a material fact made to induce another to act to his or her detriment.
Additional elements in a claim for fraud may include reasonable reliance on the misrepresentation & damages resulting from this reliance. 4. Unconscionable dealing;
especially, in contract law, the unfair use of power arising out of the parties’ relative
positions & resulting in an unconscionable bargain. — fraudulent, adj.

Excerpt(s) from Literature:

     Except from William R. Anson, Principles of the Law of Contract 263 (Arthur L. Corbin ed., 3d Am. ed. 1919):

     “The use of the term fraud has been wider & less precise in the chancery than in the common-law courts. This followed necessarily from the remedies which they respectively administered.  Common law gave damages for a wrong, & was compelled to define with care the wrong which furnished a cause of action. Equity refused specific performance of a contract, or set aside a transaction, or gave compensation where one party had acted unfairly by the other. Thus ‘fraud’ as common law is a false statement… : fraud in equity has often been used as meaning unconscientious dealing — ‘although, I think, unfortunately’, a great equity lawyer has said.” [3]

Relative Terms:

Defraud – vb. (14c.) To cause injury or loss to (a person or organization) by deceit; to trick (a person or organization) in order to get money.

Types of Fraud:

Unjust Enrichment – an unlawful, unjustifiable retention of property, without consent from the transferor(s), for which the beneficiary must make restitution or recompense

Conspiracy – an agreement by two or more persons to commit an unlawful act, coupled with an intent to achieve the agreement’s objective, including any action or conduct that furthers the agreement  aka criminal conspiracy.

Special thanks to Truth Theory for the above graphic we’re utilizing in accordance with Fair Use.


All material utilized in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: All definitions from: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: John Willard’s A Treatise on Equity Jurisprudence 147 (Platt Potter ed., 1879)

[3]: William R. Anson, Principles of the Law of Contract 263 (Arthur L. Corbin ed., 3d Am. ed. 1919)



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