What is Fraud?
The offence of Fraud is found at section 192E of the Crimes Act 1900.
The offence is broadly worded to capture a wide range of deceptive and dishonest behaviour. Nonetheless, evidence in Fraud cases is often circumstantial and charges can be successfully defended. Similarly, it is not unusual for our solicitors to be able to reduce the amount allegedly defrauded, which lessons the seriousness of the offending and the likely compensation that a court will order be paid.
If you are charged with the offence of Fraud, your options will normally be to plead guilty or not guilty.
Pleading not guilty
You will be found not guilty of the offence of Fraud if the police cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt:
- You intentionally or recklessly; and
- By deception, dishonestly (by the standards of ordinary people and known by you to be dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people): and
- Obtained property belonging to another; or
- Obtained any financial advantage or caused any financial disadvantage; and
- You intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property.
If the police are able to prove the above elements beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following offnces can be established:
Contact our offices at Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern to organise a time for one of our criminal lawyers to advise you of your prospects of successfully defending the charge of Fraud.
If you agree that you have committed the offence (and the police are able to prove so), it is best to plead guilty as you will normally receive a discount on sentence and it will demonstrate remorse and contrition. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to less serious facts or even a less serious charge.
Due to the broad wording of this offence, depending on the type of fraud alleged, the penalties can range from not recording a conviction pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act to full time imprisonment. In assessing the objective seriousness of the offending, what a court will consider includes the amount of money involved, length of time over which the offences were committed, motive, degree of planning and whether there was a breach of trust.
Fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in the District Court or 2 years imprisonment if the offence is dealt with in the Local Court. However, these penalties are typically reserved for the worst offenders. Our solicitors have a proven track record of not only keeping our clients out of gaol but also, depending on the seriousness of the allegation, having the offence dealt with by way of section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.
Penalties that a court can impose in NSW are:
- Section 10 – No conviction recorded
- Section 9 – Good behaviour bond
- Community service order
- Section 12 – Suspended sentence
- Intensive correction order
- Home detention
- Full time imprisonment
Why choose AC Law Group?
Our solicitors are experts at obtaining the best outcome possible for Fraud offences. For these offences, a good lawyer can be the difference between a conviction and no criminal record and freedom or gaol. To read more about AC Law Group, click here.
To discuss your Fraud charge, call AC Law Group at our Sydney, Parramatta, Blacktown and Redfern offices or make a website inquiry today.
AC Law Group represented two young man charged with defrauding their employer of tens of thousands of dollars by creating fake customer accounts to obtain commissions. Our solicitor submitted that their criminal culpability was lower than most similar cases because their manager had drawn them into the scheme unwittingly and they continued the criminal behaviour acting under a degree of duress in that they feared they would lose their jobs if they ceased. The Magistrate agreed with our lawyers submissions and dismissed the charges pursuant to section 1o, meaning no conviction was recorded.
Mr Correy represented a young man pleading guilty to tampering with odometers and then reselling cars at inflated values. He defrauded a dozen people for a profit of more than $50,000.00 over 12 months. Fair Trading did not detect his illegal activities until more than 6 months after he had ceased engaging in the criminal behaviour. Mr Correy argued that due to his voluntary cessation of criminal activity, there was a public interest in dealing with him leniently. The Magistrate agreed and he received a section 9 good behaviour bond.