40 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2009
Date Written: January 7, 1999
Fraud is an integral aspect of several criminal statutes. This article describes the spectrum of fraud offenses, noting the amorphous nature of the "concept" of fraud.
The Article initially considers the definition of fraud. It looks at when fraud serves as the object of an offense. It focuses here on mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud. Finally it examines how best to limit fraud statutes.
Although some may believe that certain generic fraud statutes need to be left as "stopgap devices" until the legislature has the opportunity to pass "particularized legislation," such a view transfers the decision-making authority to the executive. This Article advocates for increased specificity in fraud statutes, although it does not call for increased criminalization.
Keywords: fraud, criminal law, mail fraud, wire fraud, statutory interpretation
JEL Classification: K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation