The definition of Fraud is " Wongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain." So, let's say I made, I don't know, 3d printed an almost copy of a Nintindo Switch, that looks almost identical. Let's say I gave it to someone saying that this was indeed a real Nintindo Switch. Would that be illegal? Or would there be different situations where it wouldn't be? (Also I'm mainly asking about in United States, but would like yo know about other countries laws)

  • You would still be giving it for some sort of personal gain, right? Even if not monetary.
    – Greendrake
    Dec 11 '17 at 1:10
  • 3
    "Is it fraud?" and "Is it illegal?" are different questions. Dec 11 '17 at 4:04

The elements of fraud (for Washington state) are clearly present, except for the part about doing this in order to induce another person to act, which results in damage to the person. Since in the US fraud is primarily a state matter, we'd have to do a state-by-state study, but "intended to result in financial or personal gain" is not the universal definition. The same goes for California and Ohio. I don't know of any jurisdiction where "financial or personal gain" is a required element. There are some ways I can think of that the recipient could be harmed by thinking that the thing was real. If this was just a prank and the prank was revealed before real damage was done (e.g. he tried to sell it), then it would not be fraud.

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