Illinois Courts Have Held That Statements Concerning Future Intent And Future Conduct Are Not Actionable As Fraud
Illinois courts have held that statements concerning future intent or conduct are not actionable as fraud. Illinois Non-Profit Risk Management Ass'n v. Human Service Center of Southern Metro-East, 378 Ill.App.3d 713, 723 (4th Dist. 2008). In most cases, a defendant must make representations about past or existing facts in order to create actionable fraud. Illinois Jurisprudence, Personal Injury and Torts § 13:08. Generally, representations or predictions about intention or future conduct are not actionable as fraud. Id. Illinois courts have held that a promise to do something in the future, generally, will not constitute actionable fraud, even if made with the intention not to perform. Id.
However, there is an exception that exists where Illinois courts have found fraud in future promises. Chatham Surgicore, Ltd. v. Health Care Service Corp., 356 Ill.App.3d 795, 804 (1st Dist. 2005). A promise to perform an act in the future made by one who intends not to perform does not constitute actionable fraud, unless the false promise of future performance is part of a scheme or device to defraud another. Id. In order to comprise fraud, the promise must be part of a scheme to commit fraud, or a fraudulent device. Illinois Jurisprudence, Personal Injury and Torts § 13:08. Illinois courts warn that it is difficult to distinguish between a promise made with an intent not to perform, and one made as part of a pre-existing fraudulent scheme. Id. Proof of the fraud scheme exception to the general rule for future promises requires a statement made with an intent to induce reliance and actual reliance. Id.
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