Fraud

Fraud 2015-06-10T09:00:47+00:00

Fraud

Brad Smith is an experienced Vancouver & Kamloops criminal defence lawyer who defends people charged with fraud.

In Canadian criminal law, the Criminal Code of Canada creates a number of fraud offences in Canada. In addition to the Criminal Code fraud offences, other federal statutes such as the Competition Act and the Income Tax Act make it illegal to engage in activity such as deceptive marketing practices and tax evasion. Provincial legislation such as the British Columbia Securities Act also make it an offence to commit fraud.

If you are convicted of a fraud offence there is a good chance you will go to jail. A criminal record for a fraud offence will negatively affect your life in many ways.

Click on the links below to find out more about fraud offences in Canada.

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  • Criminal Code of Canada, section 380(1)(a)

380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable or any service,

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years where the subject matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or

(b) [describes the penalty for Fraud – $5,000 or less]

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum sentence
    • 14 years
  • Minimum Sentence
    • 2 years, but only if total value of subject matter of offence more than $1 million
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • not available
  • Conditional Sentence (prison in the community)
    • not available

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  • Criminal Code of Canada, section 380(1)(b)

380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable or any service,

(a) [describes the penalty for Fraud – over $5,000]; or

(b) is guilty

(i) of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or

(ii) of an offence punishable by summary conviction,

where the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.

  • Hybrid (prosecutor can prosecute by indictment or summarily)
    • Absolute jurisdiction of Provincial Court Judge if prosecuted by indictment
  • Maximum sentence
    • 2 years, if prosecuted by indictment
    • 6 months, or $5,000 fine ($100,000 for organizations), or both, if prosecuted summarily
  • Minimum Sentence
    • 2 years, but only if total value of subject matter of offence more than $1 million
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • available
  • Conditional Sentence (prison in the community)
    • available

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In the Canadian criminal justice system, the accused has a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This right is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it means the prosecution has to prove every element of a fraud offence. The accused does not have to prove anything. All of the admissible evidence taken together must satisfy a judge or a jury that the fraud offence charged has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the prosecution is successful the accused will be found “guilty” and be convicted.

If the prosecution fails to prove the accused committed the fraud offence charged he or she will be found “not guilty” and acquitted of the charge.