Fraud is a growing crime fueled partly by the growing ring of sophisticated criminals who operate using the Internet. It’s also one of the growing cases that criminal lawyers in Sydney’s Inner West are dealing with.
What is fraud?
The concept of Fraud used to be broad. However, thanks to the amendments recently made to the Crimes Act, there is now a more integrated view of what it is. And because of the amendments, it has now become a whole lot easier for prosecuting authorities and the police to charge someone with the exact fraud offence. It also minimises the risk of the accused beating the charges with loopholes.
To give us a clear picture of what fraud is and what it involves, below shows the summary under the NSW legislation of common types of fraud and its related offences.
Pursuant to section 192E of the Crimes Act (NSW), a person who, by any deception, dishonestly:
(a) obtains property belonging to another, or
(b) obtains any financial advantage or causes any financial disadvantage,
is guilty of the offence of fraud.
Penalty for Fraud
Any person charged with fraud faces a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment. This term applies if the property or financial advantage or disadvantage amounts to more than $5,000, and if the prosecution chooses to have the case heard in the District Court.
Many cases related to fraud are heard in the Local Court where the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment if there is only a single count.
Examples of Fraud
One of the most widespread examples of fraud is when a person’s credit card has been used without their permission or knowledge. Another example would be forging a person’s signature to obtain a loan, obtaining a loan under a false name or false means, such as deliberately disclosing wrong information on income or assets.
Fraud has a varying degrees of criminality. Even when a person has pleaded guilty, the seriousness of the offence is determined by several factors. That’s why the way the case is argued and presented in Court could spell the difference between a term of imprisonment or a lesser punishment.
One of these factors is the amount of money involved. Another is the way the offence has been planned.
For more information on Fraud and other criminal offence, call CM Lawyers on 02 9568 6266 today and speak to Christine.