Fraud offences generally fall into the categories of general fraud, identity fraud and forgery.
Essentially, fraud matters involve a level of deception or dishonest means to obtain a benefit to another person’s expense. With the increased development and use of technology within the community, fraud has virtually no boundary or border – it need not be committed in person.
The use of information skimming devices is widespread. The ability to replicate or copy identification documents such as passports and licences has made it significantly easier for people to commit fraud using a false identity or by forging a document or a signature.
For these reasons, obtaining bail on a fraud offence might be more problematic if it is considered there is a risk of flight through the use of false identification or unrecovered money from the offence alleged.
Although fraud offences are not the subject of draconian non-parole periods, the penalties provided by law are both significant and substantial and require the sentencing Judge or Magistrate to include a sentence that involves general deterrence – that is, to deter others within the community from committing such offences, often by imposing a lengthy prison sentence. Sentencing might also involve a personal deterrence.
Factors to be taken into account in determining penalty include whether there has been a beach of trust, the amount of money involved, whether there is systematic dishonesty and the degree and sophistication of planning involved.