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Fraud is a generic term that encompasses the multifarious and often ingenious means by which one individual can gain an advantage over another through deliberate false suggestion, concealment, or misrepresentation of the truth. Fraudulent acts include the forging of documents, tampering with scales and measures, false bookkeeping, and intentionally lying in contractual negotiations. In ethical terms, fraud combines deliberate falsehoods with a conscious willingness to prey on the trusting nature and reliance needs of others; hence, fraudulent acts carry strong moral disapprobation. In the law, fraud constitutes a defense to a breach of contract action, an affirmative cause of action in tort, and a crime.

Although the scope and scale of fraudulent practices in America are difficult to assess and measure, a significant amount of fraud ...

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