Question: What Is the Crime of Fraud?
Although there are many different types and forms of fraud, basically the crime of fraud involves the use of deception for financial or personal gain. Fraud can also be committed to gain an unfair advantage or to damage another.
In order for criminal fraud to take place, in most states, the following elements of the crime must be proven:
- A misrepresentation of material facts
- The perpetrator knows or believes it is not true
- The victim relies on the falsehood
- It results in actual loss or damage.
Fraud can range from a street-level con game to insider fraud within the world's largest corporations. There are laws against tax fraud, insurance fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, credit card fraud, securities fraud and even religious and marriage fraud.
The fines and penalties for criminal fraud varies widely from state to state.
Return to Crimes A-Z