What is a fraud offence?
Fraud is a common crime that affects many people in our community throughout the Central Coast and Newcastle area.
Some common fraud offences include; obtaining financial advantage by deception, accounting fraud, forgery, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, property fraud, Workcover fraud, Medicare Fraud and Centrelink Fraud.
The law considers Fraud to be a “dishonesty offence” and it is viewed very seriously by the Courts. It is an intentionally dishonest act or omission done with the purpose of deceiving another party.
I’ve been charged with fraud. What can I do?
Being charged with a fraud offence can have a devastating impact on your life and future. It may affect your ability to work and to obtain credit, loans and other financial assistance.
If you have been accused of committing fraud or charged with committing a fraud offence you need to ascertain the strength of the evidence or case against you before you do anything.
To establish a crime or fraud has occurred the prosecution must prove that the conduct was deceptive, that property or financial advantage was gained and that the act to obtain the property or financial advantage was dishonest.
Due to the serious nature of these charges and the complexities involved an assessment by an experienced investigative criminal lawyer is essential.
Exercise your right to silence
If the Police invite you to participate in a record of interview to talk about a suspected fraud matter you should seek legal advice immediately.
It is not generally in your interest to participate in a Police record of interview. Fraud is a difficult offence to prove and often a Police brief can lack an essential piece of evidence.
You are only required by law to give your name, address and telephone number. Anything else that you say to the Police can later be used in Court and may not be in your best interest.
Please read our page on “the right to silence” for further information.
Factors considered in sentencing
Factors the Court will consider when sentencing a fraud offence include:
- The amount of money involved
- The length of time involved
- The motive for committing the offence
- The degree of planning or sophistication
- An accompanying breach of trust
- The impact on the victim
- Remorse and repayment of the money
We are here to help
Fourtree Lawyers have extensive experience representing both clients who find themselves the victims of fraud and those who are under investigation or facing criminal charges for fraud.
Effective fraud investigations require skill, precision and experience. Most cases are complex and require strategic liaison with third party service providers, Police and other regulatory bodies.
Principal solicitor Kevin Vierboom has managed a number of complex fraud investigations under the Crimes Act including corrupt payments and secret commissions.
Contact our Central Coast Lawyers on 1300 529 444 as soon as possible. The earlier we can start building the strongest case possible, the higher your chance of getting a favourable outcome.
Some possible defences to the charge of Fraud include:
- Necessity - urgent circumstances that caused you to offend
- Forced to offend through threats or coercion (duress)
- Where you were suffering a mental illness (mental health)
- Lack of intent to defraud (honest mistake)
- Events leading up to or causing the incident (mitigating factors)
- Legal technicalities
Penalties for Fraud offences may include:
- Section 10 (1)(a)
- Section 10 (1)(c)
- Conditional Release Order - without conviction
- Section 10A
- Conditional Release order - with conviction
- Community Correction Order
- Intensive Correction Order
- Imprisonment of up to 2 years in the Local Court
- Imprisonment of up to 10 years in the District Court
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“Kevin and Jane were my “knights in shining armour.” I can’t thank these two people enough. They gave their everything and most important believed me when I told them my story. I am forever grateful for their professional attitude and for giving 100% to free me from my nightmare. I was able to plead guilty but also most importantly was not forced to lie and compromise my integrity and own personal values and standards. I was very happy with the outcome and the way I was treated. They communicated constantly...
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I was lucky enough to have Kevin take my case and am truly grateful for the services he and his team provided. From the outset, I was made to feel comfortable and knew from the first time meeting with them that they would go above and beyond to get the best possible outcome and that is exactly what they did. Fourtree Lawyers provides exceptional service with outstanding results and I would recommend Kevin to anyone and everyone who is in need of these services.