FRAUD, TO DEFRAUD
FRAUD, TO DEFRAUD, torts. Unlawfully, designedly, and knowingly, to appropriate the property of another, without a criminal intent.
2. Illustrations. 1. Every appropriation of the right of property of another is not fraud. It must be unlawful; that is to say, such an appropriation as is not permitted by law. Property loaned may, during the time of the loan, be appropriated to the use of the borrower. This is not fraud, because it is permitted by law. 2. The appropriation must be not only unlawful, but it must be made with a knowledge that the property belongs to another, and with a design to deprive him of the same. It is unlawful to take the property of another; but if it be done with a design of preserving it for the owners, or if it be taken by mistake, it is not done designedly or knowingly, and, therefore, does not come within the definition of fraud. 3. Every species of unlawful appropriation, not made with a criminal intent, enters into this definition, when designedly made, with a knowledge that the property is another's; therefore, such an appropriation, intended either for the use of another, or for the benefit of the offender himself, is comprehended by the term. 4. Fraud, however immoral or illegal, is not in itself a crime or offence, for want of a criminal intent. It only becomes such in the cases provided by law. Liv. System of Penal Law, 789.