An agreement will generally be illegal if it contemplates a civil wrong to a third person, though the wrong may not be an indictable offense, and though the agreement may not amount to the crime of conspiracy. An agreement to divide the profits of a fraudulent scheme, or to carry out some object in itself lawful, by means of a trespass, breach of contract, or breach of trust, is unlawful and void. The acts contemplated, though not necessarily criminal, are contrary to positive law.8
Among the agreements void because they involve a civil wrong are agreements in fraud of creditors. Thus, in case of compositions with creditors, if in order to procure the consent of some particular creditor, or for any other reason, the debtor secretly promises him some advantage over the others, the agreement is void. In a composition with creditors, "each creditor consents to lose part of his debt in consideration that the others do the same, and each creditor may be considered to stipulate with the others for a release from them to the debtor in consideration of the release by him. Where any creditor, in fraud of the agreement to accept the composition, stipulates for a preference to himself, his stipulation is altogether void; not only can he take no advantage from it, but he is also to lose the benefit of the composition." 9 A creditor who has not participated in the fraud may repudiate the composition and recover on the original claim.10
5 Post, p. 319.
6 Poplett v. Stoekdale, 1 Ryan & M. 337; Gale v. Leckie, 2 Starkie, 107. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 103; Cent. Dig. §§ 468-476.
7 Allen v. Reseous, 2 Lev. 174. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 103; Cent. Dig. §§ 468-476.
8 Scott v. Brown  2 Q. B. 724; Begbie v. Sewage Co., L. R. 10 Q. B. 491; Clement's Appeal, 52 Conn. 464; Allen v. Reseous, 2 Lev. 174; Hatch v. Mann, 15 Wend. (N. Y.) 44; Davis v. Arledge, 3 Hill (S. C.) 170, 30 Am. Dec. 360; McCall's Adm'r v. Capehart, 20 Ala. 521; Gleason v. Railroad Co. (Iowa) 43 N. W. 517; Woodstock Iron Co. v. Extension Co., 129 U. S. 643, 9 Sup. Ct. 402, 32 L. Ed. 819; Huckins v. Hunt, 138 Mass. 366; Gray v. Mc-Reynolds, 65 Iowa, 461, 21 N. W. 777, 54 Am. Rep. 16; Bloss v. Bloomer, 23 Barb. (N. Y.) 604; Thomas v. Caulkett, 57 Mich. 392, 24 N. W. 154, 58 Am. Rep. 369; Smith v. Humphreys, 88 Me. 345, 34 Atl. 166; post, p. 360, note 78. Where A. pays B. for goods for C, intending that C. shall not have to pay anything, and B. and C. secretly agree for a further payment by C, the agreement is void as a fraud on A. Jackson v. Duchaire, 3 Term R. 551. Perpetration of fraud on the public. Materne v. Horwitz, 101 N. Y. 469, 5 N. E. 331; Jerome v. Bigelow, 66 I11. 452, 16 Am. Rep. 597. Contract for use of name of musical director for baud with which he is not connected. Blakely v. Sousa, 197 Pa. 335, 47 Atl. 286. See, also, Messer v. The Fadettes, 168 Mass. 140, 46 N. E. 407, 37 L. R. A. 721, 60 Am. St. Rep. 371. See "Contracts," Dec. Dig. (Key-No.) § 109; Cent. Dig. §§ 469, 4S3.