Fraud is often defined as the intentional deception made to damage
another person or for personal gain. Fraud is a civil law violation as
well as a crime in all fifty states. Money is often involved in fraud
cases along with valuable possession, but in recent years fraud has
also enveloped others means of personal gain and prestige, such as the
Different Kinds of Fraud
In recent year fraud is most often committed through forms of media,
including the Internet, the mail, and the phone. Identity and location
are easily concealed through means of media, so credit card details and
personal information can be accessed quickly.
Fraud in the criminals sense comes in all different types and includes
tax fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, religious fraud, charlatanism,
bait and switch, false billing, forgery, health fraud, bankruptcy
fraud, security fraud, counterfeiting, creating false companies, false
insurance claims, false advertising, and investment fraud.
Nine elements are associated with fraud in common law. The nine
elements are the stance in which a person will take in a court of law.
These elements plead fraud as a representation of an existing fact; a
falsity; a materiality; a speaker's knowledge of a falsity; a speaker's
intent that is to be acted upon by a plaintiff; a plaintiff's reliance
on the truth of the representation; the plaintiff's ignorance of the
falsity; the plaintiff's right to rely upon; and the consequent damages
suffered by the plaintiff.
A majority of United State jurisdictions require that each element be
pled with clear and coherent evidence to establish a fraud claim. This
evidence must be probable to be used in court. The "benefit of bargain"
rule states that the measure of damages in fraud cases is to be
computed in an orderly system. This is the difference between the value
of the property as represented and the actual value of the property. At
times special damages are allowed if the damage amount is proven with
Punishment and Penalties for Fraud
Fine limits for fraudulent acts are generally determined by specific
guidelines set by workers' compensation laws and rules. These
guidelines determine the penalties for various acts of fraud. Rule 45
holds the specifics on each fraud as cited by the Rules for
Administrative Citations and Penalties. These penalties are normally
long and very serious in consequences.
Those being charged with fraud can be punished by imprisonment, a
monetary fine, repayment of the benefits received, the forfeiture of
future benefits, and order or injunctive relief. The punishment
received depends on the extent of the crime committed as well as the
amount of money involved, either lost or gained. A person can receive
one or more of these penalties in a single sentence.
These penalty guidelines can vary and can be reduced in varying
circumstances. At times a penalty may be reduced if all or some of the
benefit obtained during the act of fraud is repaid. However some acts
of fraud do not allow for the reduction of a penalty. These include the
falsification of medical records and the falsification of a sworn
testimony or statement.