Fraud is the unlawful use of deceptive means to acquire property, assets, services or a thing of value for personal gain. Fraudulent and deceptive practices include providing false or misleading information as a means to attain personal gain, and/or failing to disclose information when there is an obligation to do so, in order to secure a personal benefit.
Fraud case defined as the use of any intentional or deceptive acts for the purposes of personal gain that give rise to a legal action.
A “fraud case” is an overarching term that encompasses any legal case arising from the use of intentional acts or deceptive omissions for the purposes of personal gain. As such a fraud case may arise in various cases, under diverse sets of facts and alleged in various courts. Allegations of fraud can be found in civil matters, criminal claims, administrative hearings and other forums.
Fraud is defined by the black’s law dictionary as follows:
“Fraud is an intentional perversion of truth for the purpose of inducing another in reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing belong to him or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal injury.”
In a landmark 1934 case Johnson v. McDonald, 170 Okl. 117, 39 P.2d 150 the court concluded fraud to mean the following:
Fraud … is …“[a] generic term, embracing all multifarious means which human ingenuity can devise, and which are resorted to by one individual to get advantage over another by false suggestions or by suppression of truth, and includes all surprise, trick, cunning, dissembling and any unfair way by which another is cheated”.
The commonality in all fraud claims is that the act giving rise to the fraudulent action consists of some sort of deceitful behavior or practice. In a finding of fraud there is an action done with intent to deprive another of their rights or otherwise create a legal injury. Unlike negligence, where the injured party must only prove that the wrongdoer breached a legal duty, in order to prevail in a fraud case the wrongdoer must establish the element of intent. Fraud always includes an actual or constructive wrongdoing in where the defrauding party acts, omits or conceals with the intention to deceive and/or deprive the fraud victim of his/her legal rights.