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Q: What is fraud? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   13 Comments )
Subject: What is fraud?
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: jaseaux-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 01 Sep 2005 23:04 PDT
Expires: 01 Oct 2005 23:04 PDT
Question ID: 563399
Is fraud a catchall word that the authorities use to bust you for just
about anything?  Let's say for example I go to New Orleans and there's
a big mansion somewhere that survived the hurricane, but it's real
messy.  Let's say I go up to the house and I knock on the door.  If I
say, "If you give me $100 I'll clean up this mess," the guy would
probably say no, but if I say, "Hi.  The Hurricane disaster fund has
awarded you with $4,900 to help you get this area cleaned up.  The
cost is $5,000 so after their contribution, you need only pay $100. 
Where would you like me to start?" the guy would probably give me $100
to clean up his house.

Now, is that fraud?  I mean, I'm still cleaning up, right?  Just
because I made up the Disaster Fund company, is that somehow illegal? 
If it is, that's stupid.
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 02 Sep 2005 08:17 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

According to the Louisiana Civil Code, fraud is defined this way:


Art. 1953.  Fraud may result from misrepresentation or from silence

Fraud is a misrepresentation or a suppression of the truth made with
the intention either to obtain an unjust advantage for one party or to
cause a loss or inconvenience to the other.  Fraud may also result
from silence or inaction.

Acts 1984, No. 331, 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985.


By my reading of this (as someone who is NOT a legal professional, so
take this with a grain of salt), the situation you describe could
certainly be construed as fraud because, (a) it involves
misrepresentation, and (b) attempts to get an 'unjust advantage'.

That is, by mispresenting yourself, you would hope to gain an
advantage over another cleaning service who could not get the job by
an honest representation of who they are, and how they provide a

I trust this answers your question to your satisfaction.  But if you
need anything else, just let me know prior to rating this answer.


search strategy -- Went to, and searched Louisiana state
code for [ fraud ]
jaseaux-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Excellent!  You should take a stab at my patent question!

Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: scovel-ga on 01 Sep 2005 23:16 PDT
Yes that is fraud. 
   1. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or
unlawful gain.
   2. A piece of trickery; a trick.
         1. One that defrauds; a cheat.
         2. One who assumes a false pose; an impostor
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: smartcookie21-ga on 02 Sep 2005 00:46 PDT
I'm a lawyer in the UK, and a definition of fraud here would be:

"A false representation by means of a statment or conduct made in
order to gain a material advantage."

In civil law, rather than crime, if the fraud results in injury top
the deceived party he may claim damages for the tort of deciet. A
contract obtained by fraud (as per your example) is voidable on the
grounds of fraudulant misrepresentation.

This means you could make your offer to clean up my house, in the
meantime I discover that you misrepresented the situation to me, I
refuse to pay and you can't sue me for the 100.

Hope this helps.
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: jaseaux-ga on 02 Sep 2005 01:40 PDT
I don't see how my gain would be unfair or unlawful.  I mean, I would
be doing the work.  Just because he thinks someone else gave me money?
 How does that make it unlawful?  I would imagine this little setup
would pale in comparison to the lies they tell at car dealerships.

I would consider this promotional verbiage, not fraud.  I'm asking the
person to pay me $100, he pays me $100.  Now if after I clean his
house I said, "I'm sorry, the hurricane victim fund fell through, you
owe me $4000." I would consider that fraud, but not increasing the
perceived value via virtual reality.

Any US lawyers want to add anything?
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: sublime1-ga on 02 Sep 2005 02:04 PDT
Think of it this way...

Precisely what is it you think you have to gain by 
misrepresenting yourself as the agent of the Disaster
Fund company? If it's not monetary, what is it? If you
would do the work for $100, why use the name of the 
company you're making up?

It is precisely what you think you would gain that 
defines what the customer would stand to lose. In
this case, that would seem to be your credibility
and trustworthiness. It doesn't matter if a dollar
amount can be attached to this - it is still an
unfair taking of advantage.
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: nelson-ga on 02 Sep 2005 06:22 PDT
I just have this to say: liar, liar, panties on fire.

Yes, it's fraud.  It's illegal.  It's immoral.  It can put you in jail and hell.

You can't just go around making things up to get money.  If you think
that's stupid, then you're stupid.
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: hammer-ga on 02 Sep 2005 06:34 PDT
I respectfully suggest that we not feed the troll.

- Hammer
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: jaseaux-ga on 02 Sep 2005 07:59 PDT
So if a car dealer is trying to sell you a car, and he says, "This one
is a beauty.  In fact, it's the last one we have, you better act
quickly," when in reality he has 3 more in the back, he can get
arrested for fraud?  I guess since everyone does it, I thought those
little white sales lies were okay.

How about if I rephrase my sales pitch.  "Sir, I'm cleaning yards for
$500.  Because this has been such a terrible disaster, I've actually
gotten a donation in the amount of $400 to put towards the effort.  If
you would like to pay the remaining $100, I can get started right
What he doesn't know is that I am the individual that donated the
$400.  A perfectly fraudless transaction, right?
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: swmo-ga on 02 Sep 2005 08:23 PDT
maybe i am off the mark here, but it sounds like you are concerned
that charging $100 for cleaning a large house will make the owners of
the house feel that you are not charging enough to do an acceptable

I believe that you can solve the problem fairly easily.

i would suggest a statement as such "i would be interested in helping
clean you home, i have been cleaning homes for XXXX number of years
and typcially charge $$$$.  Due to what has happened i have decreased
my rate to help people recover from the aftermath of Hurricane
Katrina.  I am now only charging $100.  would you be interested in the

just an example of how you could frame it in a positive way, and get
people to accept the help.  this way you dont have to mis-represent

just my humble thoughts.

Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: justaskscott-ga on 02 Sep 2005 09:02 PDT
Persons reading and commenting on this question may also be interested
in seeing jaseaux's other question "How to exploit the hurricane
situation" (
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: jaseaux-ga on 02 Sep 2005 16:06 PDT
That may work Dave.  I may give that a try.  I have found, however,
that there is a peculiar psychology to people.  They don't put much
value on discounts, such as the one you suggested.  On the other hand,
if I have money that is in their name, they would rather pay the $100
than let me keep the rest without doing any work.

Why do you think that is?
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: clevegal42-ga on 02 Sep 2005 18:20 PDT
This isn't a very smart question.  If you are only going to make $100
and you are only going to be getting from the homeowner and a
"magical" $400 or $4900 isn't going anywhere, then why don't you just
say "hey, I'll clean for 100 bucks".  That way you don't look like a
total moron.  But, I hear they like your kind in prison so do what you
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: stressedmum-ga on 04 Sep 2005 05:14 PDT
What happened to you to make you want to think this way?
Subject: Re: What is fraud?
From: jaseaux-ga on 04 Sep 2005 17:47 PDT
Do any of us want to think the way we do?  Or do we just think?  I
guess thinking is like seeing.  When I look around, I see things in a
certain way.  You may seem them differently.  When I think about
certain things, it's most likely very different than the way you think
about it.

On the one hand, I realize that the way I look and think is superior. 
On the other hand, I may at times be slightly envious of the way most
people think.

Take for example a small child that knows nothing of death?  What
would you give to return to that blissful ignorance?  Now apply that
example to thought in general.

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