At George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers, we pride ourselves in being experts at Criminal Law. This year, we celebrated 50 years of practice in New South Wales and there can be no objection that this time has allowed us to hone our skills in the area. Our criminal lawyers will provide you with high quality legal advice in criminal law. We can advise you on many different aspects of criminal law such as fraud. If you have found yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a fraud offence, or think you may be charged with such an offence, then contact George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers for guidance on what to do next. At George Sten and CO Criminal Lawyers, we want to provide our clients with the best legal representation possible, so contact us now on (02) 9261 8640 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Fraud?
Fraud is an offence that involves the use of deception to dishonestly obtain property or a financial advantage. It also involves the use of deception to cause financial disadvantage to another. The essential element of fraud offence is the deception. As per the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), deception refers to any deception by words or conduct. In order for you to be charged with a fraud offence, the deceptive words or conduct must also be intentional or reckless.
Types of Fraud Offences
There are three general categories that fraud offences fall under. These are general fraud, identity fraud and forgery.
General Fraud Offences
Section 192E of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) describes the offence of fraud as the following,
‘A person who, by any deception, dishonestly obtain property belonging to another, or obtains any financial advantage or causes any financial disadvantage, is guilty of the offence of fraud.’
The above outlines two separate offences:
- Dishonestly obtaining property belonging to another; and
- Dishonestly obtaining financial advantage or causing financial disadvantage to another.
Even if you are willing to pay for someone’s property, but you have obtained the property dishonestly, you can still be charged with this offence.
The maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
Section 192F(1) of the same act outlines another type of fraud offence, which involves the intention to defraud by destroying or concealing accounting records, this includes destroying such records in order to obtain property belonging to another, obtaining any financial advantage or causing financial disadvantage. The maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment.
Section 192G outlines the offence of intention to defraud by false or misleading statement. You may be charged with this offence if you dishonestly make or publish, or concur with someone to make or publish any statement that is false and misleading in nature with the intention of obtaining property or obtaining financial advantage or causing financial disadvantage. The maximum penalty for this offence is 5 years imprisonment.
Section 192H(1) outlines the final offence which would come under the ‘General Fraud’ category. This offence involves having the intention to deceive members or creditors by false or misleading statement of an officer of an organisation. This offence is punishable by a maximum prison term of 7 years.
Identity Fraud Offences
There are three identity fraud offences outlined in Part 4AB of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The first offence comes under section 192J and states that a person who deals in identification information with the intention of committing, or of facilitating the commission of, an indictable offence is guilty of an offence. This offence is punishable by 10 years imprisonment.
The second identify fraud offence comes under section 192K and related to possessing identification information with the intention of committing or facilitating an indictable offence. If you are charged with this offence, you will be facing up to 7 years imprisonment.
The final identity fraud offence is identified in section 192L of the act. This offence is related to the creation or intention to create false identification. It is an offence to possess any equipment of material that can be used to make a false identification document and intending to use this to commit or facilitate the commission of an indictable offence. The maximum penalty for this particular offence is 3 years imprisonment.
There are four forgery offences in the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The first involves the making of a false document. If a person who makes a false document with the intention that someone will use the document o induce someone else into believing it is genuine and because they have believed this, a person has gained property belonging to another, or has obtained financial advantage or has influenced the exercise of a public duty is guilty of forgery. The maximum term of imprisonment for this offence is 10 years.
The second forgery offence is related to using a false document. The maximum penalty for a person who charged with the offence of using a false document is 10 years imprisonment.
The final forgery offence is related to the possession of a false document, knowing that it was false. If you are found in possession of a false document and you intend on using it to convince someone that it is genuine and because if this, you are able to obtain property belonging to another or obtain financial advantage, then you may be charged with this offence. The maximum penalty for being found in possession of such a document is 10 years imprisonment.
What to do next?
If you are charged with a fraud offence, then you may face a term of imprisonment. That is why you need to engage an expert criminal lawyer to advise you and act on your behalf. Being charged with a fraud offence can be a scary prospect. You become part of a legal system that is complex, so it is important that you have an experienced and knowledgeable criminal lawyer on your side. To give your self the best chances of having your charges reduced or even dropped, contact George Sten and Co Criminal Lawyers on (02) 9261 8640 or email us at email@example.com. If your matter is urgent in nature, call our 24 hour phone line: 0410 326 103.