What is fraud?

In Virginia, a person who has been defrauded may have a civil claim for damages against the person who defrauded the plaintiff.  A fraud is, in essence, a lie that has been relied upon by someone and, as a result, has caused damage to the person who relied on the truthfulness of the lie.  In legal jargon, an "actual fraud" is defined as a misrepresentation of a material fact, knowingly and intentionally made, with the intent to mislead another person, which that person relied upon with the result that he or she (or it, in the case of a company) was damaged by it.  Frauds come in two different types: actual fraud and constructive fraud.  Constructive fraud happens when someone says something that is not truthful, but the falsehood was made "innocently" and "negligently," as opposed to "knowingly and intentionally."  Fraud cases are very complicated and all sorts of nuances to the above definitions exist under the law.  Therefore, if you suspect you have been the victim of a fraud, you should consult with a Virginia attorney about the matter so that you can understand whether you should seek relief in court.