10 Kasım 2012 Cumartesi

What is Fraud? The Concept of Fraud

In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and is also a civil law violation. Many hoaxes are fraudulent, although those not made for personal gain are not technically frauds. Defrauding people of money is presumably the most common type of fraud, but there have also been many fraudulent "discoveries" in art, archaeology, and science

In criminal law, fraud is the crime or offense of deliberately deceiving another in order to damage them – usually, to obtain property or services unjustly. Fraud can be accomplished through the aid of forged objects. In the criminal law of common law jurisdictions it may be called "theft by deception," "larceny by trick," "larceny by fraud and deception" or something similar. [1]

In academia and science, fraud can refer to academic fraud – the falsifying of research findings which is a form of scientific misconduct – and in common use intellectual fraud signifies falsification of a position taken or implied by an author or speaker, within a book, controversy or debate, or an idea deceptively presented to hide known logical weaknesses. Journalistic fraud implies a similar notion, the falsification of journalistic findings.[2]

When we come to the financial reporting, the fraud can be defined as “intentionally and being aware of the consequences from the overvaluation or undervaluation of the assets and hiding the necessary documents in order to spoil the financial statements”.[3] This shows that the investors and the shareholders take decisions depending on the polluted data which will create great losses in the future.

Other than the above statements, fraud can be also defined to be "an intentional perversion of truth" or a "false misrepresentation of a matter of fact" which induces another person to "part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right".[4]

In addition to the traditional criminal definition of fraud, there are many regulatory laws that have very specific rules that must be complied with. If you do not follow these rules to the letter, you could be charged with and convicted of fraud.

There is a term which is generally used instead of fraud. This term is abuse. However, abuse has a different meaning. Where fraud can be explained as “intentional deception or misrepresentation made by a person with the knowledge that the deception could result in some unauthorized benefit to him or some other person, abuse term can be defined as “the provider practices that are inconsistent with sound fiscal, business, or medical practices, and result in an unnecessary cost to these programs, or in reimbursement of services that are not necessary or that fail to meet professionally recognized standards.[5]

From these explanations it is clear that abuse is much more different than the word fraud. Nevertheless, both terms were included in the 2006 Act of Fraud. In order to give more understanding the article is stated below:[6]

“A person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of any of the sections listed in subsection (2) (which provide for different ways of committing the offence).
(2) The sections are-
(a) section 2 (fraud by false representation), 
(b) section 3 (fraud by failing to disclose information), and
(c) section 4 (fraud by abuse of position).….” 

As seen from the act, the financial frauds have not been mentioned. The focus is on business issues and the hierarchical status.


[1] Wikipedia, “Fraud”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraud
[2] Wikipedia, Ibid.
[3] Nuray Ergül, “Türkiye’de Hile ve Hile Denetimine Bakış Açısı”, Vergi Sorunları, November 2003, No:182, p. 120.
[4] Free Advice, “What is Fraud?”, http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/white_collar_crimes/fraud.htm
[5] Department of Finance and Administration, “What is Fraud and Abuse?”, http://www.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov/what_is_Fraud_abuse.aspx
[6] Fraud Act 2006, United Kingdom, Article 1.

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