Fraus Est Celare Fraudem Law and Legal Definition

Fraus est celare fraudem is a Latin term which means that it is fraud to conceal a fraud.

The following is an example of a case in which the maxim fraus est celare fraudem was applied by the court: In Lee v. Kirkpatrick, 14 N.J. Eq. 264, 267 (N.J. Ch. 1862), the court held that a person ‘can recover no more than the amount actually due upon the mortgage at the date of the assignment. But if the mortgagor, when applied to for information, conceals his/her equitable defense, if s/he misleads the party by word or act as to the amount due upon the bond, nay if s/he stands silently by and permits a party in good faith to pay his/her money and take an assignment for its full nominal value, s/he cannot afterwards set up his equitable defense against the claim of the mortgagee for the payment of the entire debt’.