What is Fraud?

One may be liable in torts if one (1) intentionally made (2) a misrepresentation to the other of a fact, intention, or of a law (3) with the intention of inducing the other person to act or to refrain from action in reliance on the misrepresentation, if the other person can demonstrate (3) financial loss as a result of (5) having relied upon the misrepresentation.

Criminal Law
Generally, other than specific crimes like mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and more, state and federal law requires (1) intentional (knowing) (2) misrepresentation of (3) materials facts as identified in the statute. Criminal law does not require a showing of harm.

A fraudulent (intentional) misrepresentation that induces one party to sign a contract may make that contract voidable. In addition, a contract can be voidable for a material misrepresentation even if it was not intentional. Unlike criminal law and tort law, contract law does not require a deliberate misrepresentation. Thus a contract can be rescinded even without an intent to deceive.
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