Act or course of deception, an intentional concealment, omission, or perversion of truth, to (1) gain unlawful or unfair advantage, (2) induce another to part with some valuable item or surrender a legal right, or (3) inflict injury in some manner. Willful fraud is a criminal offense which calls for severe penalties, and its prosecution and punishment (like that of a murder) is not bound by the statute of limitations. However incompetence or negligence in managing a business or even a reckless waste of firm's assets (by speculating on the stockmarket, for example) does not normally constitute a fraud. In such cases, the aggrieved party (creditors or stockholders/shareholders) must prove that at some point they were intentionally deceived on a material fact. See also statute of frauds.

Use fraud in a sentence

  • The man drove his car off of a cliff and tried to make it look like an accident in an attempt to gain money through insurance fraud.

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  • He was suspected of fraud because some of his data seemed to be made up and the people he interviewed didn't exist.

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  • A person who buys car insurance immediately after an accident in order to submit an insurance claim for that accident is committing fraud.

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Notable Quotes

  • Fraud and Honesty
    "There is perhaps no record of a bank fraud existent of which the perpetrator was not honest yesterday."
    - James Gibbons

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