In general, fraud is the intentional use of deceit, a trick, or dishonest means to deprive someone of money, property, or a legal right.  As set forth above, there are many types of frauds with different elements that pertain to each crime.  Criminal fraud cases and their severity often depend on what was obtained, and how much money was involved.  In many cases, the amount of money fraudulently obtained dictates the seriousness of the charge. It is important to contact a criminal lawyer who is experienced in handling fraud cases.