Fraud Charges and Offences

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 charge 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 alleged fraud offence.

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.

Types of Frauds and associated Penalties

Fraud offences fall into the categories of general fraud, identity fraud and forgery.

These offences are covered under Pts 4AA, 4AB and 5 of the Crimes Act 1900.

 

General Fraud (Pt 4AA)

OffenceMax Penalty (Yrs)
Obtain property belonging to another by deception10
Obtain financial advantage or cause financial advantage by deception10
Intention to defraud by destroying or concealing accounting records5
Intention to defraud by false or misleading statement5
Intention to deceive members or creditors by false or misleading statement of officer of organisation7

 

Identity Fraud (Pt 4AB)

OffenceMax Penalty (Yrs)
Deal with identification information with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence10
Possess identification information with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence7
Possess equipment to make identification document or thing with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence3

 

Forgery (Pt 5)

OffenceMax Penalty (Yrs)
Make false document10
Use false document10
Possess false document10
Make or possess equipment for making false document with intent to commit forgery10

 

How serious is the fraud offence?

The courts consider a number of factors that bear generally upon the objective seriousness of a given fraud offence:

The amount of money involved: this indicates the extent to which the person is willing to be dishonest and flout the law to advance their own purposes.

The length of time over which the offences are committed: this can also be relevant to indicate the degree of planning and to show that it was not an impulsive offence.

The motive for the crime: for example, was the fraud based on greed or for some other need such as to pay family medical bills? If the fraud is based on greed the sentence imposed will likely be more severe, however the fact an offence is committed for a motive other than personal greed is not to be considered a matter of mitigation.

The degree of planning and sophistication: if the offence was part of a planned or organised activity, this is an aggravating factor to be taken into account under s 21A(2)(n) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999

An accompanying breach of trust: a breach of trust typically refers to a situation where the victim of the offence has imposed that trust, such as an employer defrauded by an employee. A breach of trust is considered an aggravating factor to be taken into account under s 21A(2)(k) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999

 

Corporate and International Fraud 

We have vast experience in complex fraud and white collar crime cases, which increasingly have an international component. Our lawyers have expert knowledge regarding the operation of agencies that investigate these types of fraud, and we have worked on international cases involving the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Cambodia, Cyprus, Russia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Europe, where there has been an Australian connection.

 

How can Nyman Gibson Miralis assist you?

Our defence lawyers have the expertise to assist you with all types of fraud charges. We attend all courts throughout NSW, and can be contacted 24/7 on 1300 668 484.