Fraud Lawyer in Toronto – Farjoud Law
What Is Fraud?
The criminal offence of fraud is defined in Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Based upon the definition found in Section 380 of the Criminal Code, fraud is committed when an accused defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service. This must be done by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means
The exact classification and types of charges that can be brought against you is directly related to the monetary value of the fraud offence. As such, there are two specific criminal charge classifications used with fraud offences:
Fraud Under $5,000
Fraud Over $5,000
Fraud offences are considered property offences, as the accused typically obtains property or money from another using fraudulent pretenses. Keep in mind fraud is not limited to just money and property and could easily involve several different situations, where a breach of trust between the accused and victim occurred. In addition, fraud offences can include business fraud, legal fraud, financial fraud, debit card and credit card fraud, construction fraud, and more.
Essentially, any type of situation, where one person or the public is trusting another, and the other person attempts to mislead, misrepresent, or use other fraudulent means to deceive, they could potentially be charged with fraud.
What is the punishment for committing Fraud Under $5,000?
If convicted and found guilty of Fraud Under $5,000, and prosecuted as an indictable offence, a person can be sentenced for a maximum imprisonment period of two years. For offences prosecuted as a summary conviction, prison time is still a possibility. In addition, the court could require you to make restitution payments to the victim as part of your sentencing if the property or money is not able to be recovered and returned to the owner.
What is the punishment for committing Fraud Over $5,000?
Fraud Over $5,000 offences are prosecuted as indictable offences. As such, if you are convicted and found guilty, you could potentially be imprisoned for a maximum of 14 years. Just like Fraud Under $5,000 convictions, the court can require you to pay restitution to the victim.
What is the difference between Theft and Fraud?
The fundamental difference between the offence of theft and that of fraud is that on a charge of theft, the victim does not intend to part with possession. On a charge of fraud, the victim does intend to part with possession, but does so on the basis of false representations
Can Fraud offences be withdrawn if I return the money or property?
Once the police have been contacted, investigated the case, and determined fraud was committed, it is now up to the Crown prosecuting to determine how the case will proceed. Certainly making an offer to return the money or property can be beneficial and helpful to reducing the potential punishments one could face. In some cases, it could be possible to even get the charges withdrawn. However, you should consult with a Toronto criminal defence lawyer before making an offer to return money or property.
What if I did not intend to commit fraud but am still charged?
Under certain circumstances, you may have found yourself in a situation where fraud was being committed, but to the best of your knowledge, you had no knowledge you were committing a criminal offence. Depending upon the specific circumstances surrounding your case, you might be able to use this as a defence to the charges.
Note to readers: This article is solely for informational purposes and should not be considered legal advice. In order to ensure the protection of your rights and interests, please consult a criminal defence lawyer prior to acting or relying upon any information.