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Criminal Trials and Appeals | Edmonton | Vancouver

Fraud

fraud-header

Edmonton and Vancouver Lawyers Handling Fraud Charges

Being convicted of fraud can have serious ramifications on your future employment, immigration status, reputation, family, and freedom. As with any criminal record, you may be affected for many years to come, and fraud charges can be especially impactful as The Crown considers property offences crimes of dishonesty.

We’ve helped clients deal with both small- and large-scale fraud cases and know how to strategically build a solid defence.

We’ve provided some information about fraud as well as possible defences to fraud below. If you or someone you know is facing fraud charges, we encourage you to call Sprake Song & Konye today to schedule a consultation.

What is Fraud?

Fraud is intentional deception with financial or personal gain as the usual goal, resulting in injury to another person or entity. Fraud is a very serious white collar crime and can carry heavy consequences and penalties, depending on the circumstances.

Fraud is considered a type of property offence. There are different types of fraud and each carries separate legal consequences, making it possible to face multiple counts of fraud, especially if the activity took place over an extended period of time.

Fraud Under $5000 versus Fraud Over $5000

Although there are many types of fraud one can commit, they all fall into one of two fraud categories.

Fraud Under $5000

Fraud Under is a “hybrid” offence, which means the Crown has the option of either proceeding by summary conviction or by indictment. The way the Crown proceeds affects the maximum possible punishment. As the name implies, this type of fraud includes cases where the value of the amount alleged to have defrauded is below $5000.

Fraud Over $5000

This is strictly an indictable offence. This type of fraud charge is applicable when the value of the amount alleged to have been defrauded exceeds $5000 or where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument. Fraud over $5000 generally carries significantly heavier penalties. Those convicted of this type of property offence may face up to 14 years in prison.

Of course, penalties for multiple counts of fraud may be much more serious.

Types of Fraud

There are a number of types of fraud which may fall into the categories detailed above, including:

  • Contractor Fraud
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Internet Fraud
  • Mail Fraud
  • Public Assistance Fraud
  • Securities Fraud

Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common types of fraud charges our clients deal with.

Contractor Fraud

Small business owners understand that dealing with disgruntled customers comes with the responsibilities of owning a business. For those in the construction and home repair industries, these types of clients could land you in the middle of a fraud investigation. Perhaps a client was unhappy with the work completed, or feels they were dealt with dishonestly. In some cases, clients are simply disgruntled because they weren’t able to get their way in an agreement.

Whatever the reasons, this type of fraud is especially problematic as the consequences can affect not only your freedom, but the future of your business. Even if you aren’t convicted, facing contractor fraud charges is a hassle and an embarrassment for you and your business.

If you’ve been accused of fraudulent business practices, it’s vital you contact defence lawyer as soon as possible to protect your business.

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is an umbrella term that refers to alleged criminal activity involving fraudulent use of a credit card. These charges usually refer to activity in which a credit card is used to illegally obtain funds, goods, and/or services. This may include:

  • Accessing someone else’s credit card account, personal identification number (PIN), account number, or other credit information without their permission
  • Using the mail to illegally obtain a credit card
  • Using a counterfeit credit card
  • Using a lost or stolen credit card
  • Obtaining equipment to conduct fraudulent credit card acts

Restitution

If you are able to pay back the money or value of the property allegedly defrauded, the prosecutor may be willing to settle on an agreement and avoid a lengthy, complex trial. It may also be a factor for the judge to consider when determining the appropriate penalties. It’s important to consult with defence counsel to decide if restitution is a realistic plan for your case.

If you are facing fraud charges, you have options. Let Sprake Song & Konye defend your rights and defend your future. Contact us today.