Fraud is where a defendant cheats someone by stating a false material fact to get money or something else of value. Fraud may also occur when a person deliberately fails to disclose a material fact, knowing that by omitting this important fact, the victim will be deceived. Fraud always requires a plaintiff to show there was an intentional misrepresentation that deceived the plaintiff.

Fraud typically requires the plaintiff to prove in a civil case (or the prosecutor to prove in a criminal case), that the defendant acted with scienter. Scienter is a mental state where a person knows they are committing a wrongful act. That is, in an action for fraud, the defendant must knowingly deceive the victim.

The verb form is fraud is “to defraud”.

Defraud = to commit a fraud, to take money by deception.

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