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Fraud involves deliberately deceiving another individual or group in order to secure an unfair or unlawful personal gain at the expense of that party.

The elements required to prove the crime of fraud are 1) misrepresentation 2) knowledge of falsity 3) intent to defraud 4) justifiable reliance 5) damages. 

There must be intentional misrepresentation by the defendant, and merely a mistake is not sufficient to prove fraud.  Additionally, the plaintiff must show that he or she changed his position because of the reliance on the defendant’s misrepresentation, and was damaged by it.  The reliance factor is examined closely in fraud cases, and the plaintiff must show that he or she acted upon the reliance to their detriment (such as giving money).

There are many different types of fraud and the penalties are governed by many different authorities who set the rules and penalties.  For example, securities fraud rules are set by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the cases are prosecuted exclusively by their attorneys.  Other types of fraud include tax fraud, insurance fraud, wire fraud and forgery.  Generally, the penalty depends on the amount of money defrauded and the penalties can range from monetary reimbursement to imprisonment.  To find attorneys who have extensive experience in handling fraud cases, please visit

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