Fraud is intentional deception that is made for personal gain or to damage someone else. Fraud is a crime and a civil law violation. Fraud may consist of intentional acts that are meant to deceive or to withhold information for the same purpose.
There are two types of fraud including:
- Actual Fraud
- Constructive Fraud
Constructive fraud is a ruling that someone’s actions of lying or deceit have given them unfair advantage over someone else and that the actions should be treated the same as actual fraud. The court determines when constructive fraud has been used.
Actual fraud consists of acts that are committed or considered with the intent to deceive. There are different types of acts that are fraud:
- Suggestion of a fact that is not true, by someone who does not believe it is true
- Positive assertion of something that isn’t true when the person asserting it believes it is true
- Suppression of something that is true by someone who has the facts
- Promise made without intent of performing it
- Any act that is designed to deceive
If you have entered into a contract in reliance on a fraud, you may choose either a tort remedy or a contract remedy. Fraud cases are not alike but most follow these procedures:
- File Complaint
- Summons and Complaint are served to the defendant
- Response to Complaint
- Hearing of motions
- Discovery Motions
- Trial Setting
- Settlement Negotiations
Many times fraud cases are settled before they go to trial. A settlement may occur at any point in the process up until the trial. Throughout the process there will be conferences set up to status the case. There may be a mandatory settlement conference prior to the case going to trial as a final attempt to settle the case.