Cheat, * criminal law, torts. A cheat is a deceitful practice, of a public nature, in defrauding another of a known right, by some artful device, contrary to the plain rules of common honesty. 1 Hawk. 343.

2. To constitute a cheat, the offence must be, lst. of a public nature for every species of fraud and dishonesty in transactions between individuals is not the subject-matter of a criminal charge at common law; it must be such as is calculated to defraud numbers, and to deceive the people in general. 2 East, P. C. 816; 7 John. R. 201; 14 John. R. 371; 1 Greenl. R. 387; 6 .Mass. R. 72; 9 Cowen, R. 588; 9 Wend. R. 187; 1 Yerg. R. 76; 1 Mass. 137. 2. The cheating must be done by false weights, false measures, false tokens, or the like, calculated to deceive numbers. 2 Burr, 1125; 1 W. Bl. R. 273; Holt, R. 354.

3. That the object of the defendant in defrauding the prosecutor was successful. If unsuccessful, it is a mere attempt. (q. v.) 2 Mass. 139. When two or more enter into an agreement to cheat, the offence is a conspiracy. (q. v.) To call a man a cheat is slanderous. Hetl. 167; 1 Roll's Ab. 53; 2 Lev. 62. Vide Illiterate; Token.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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