What is Fraud?

Fraud is the use of lies or deception to get something that you should not have. You can defraud a person, company, or the government. The charge can relate to money, property, objects or services.  

Fraud Under and Over.

Like the charges of Mischief and Theft, the charge of Fraud is categorized as either Over or Under $5,000. Fraud Under $5,000 is punishable up to 2 years imprisonment and Fraud Over $5,000 is punishable up to 14 years imprisonment.  

Obtaining Property by False Pretenses.

The law disallows the use of false statements for the purpose of persuading another person. In other words, a false statement is any lie that is spoken or otherwise communicated with the intent of misleading someone else. You are not allowed to use false statements to get delivery of property, payment of money, grants, loans, credit, or discounts. Using a bad cheque can be an example of False Pretences.  Similar to Fraud, the punishment varies depending on whether it is under or over $5000.  Also see Theft or Forgery of a Credit Card.

Breach of Trust.

The courts consider Breach of Trust to be an especially serious form of Fraud. A person in a position of trust (employer, employee, caregiver, charitable organizations) are expected to be honest in all transactions. Any trustee that defrauds his or her trust is punishable up to 14 years imprisonment.     

Fraudulently Obtaining Food, Beverage or Accommodation

This charge is commonly called “dine and dash” because it usually involves people that eat at restaurants and then discreetly leave without paying. The maximum punishment is 6 months imprisonment and/or $5,000 fine.

Fraud in Relation to Fares, Tolls, Tickets and Admission Fees 

No entering a premise that has a fee for free; and equally, no riding for free on public transportation, taxis, Uber, Lyft.

I’ve been charged with Fraud; now what?

Loose lips sink ships. The police want you to talk. Even if you do not want to talk about the alleged crime, if you are talking, the police may trick you into talking about the alleged crime. Do not speak with the police. You have a right to speak to a lawyer of choice, do so.

Criminal Defence Lawyers

I have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you navigate through the criminal justice system. I will go to court on your behalf, review the evidence with you, and provide you with a competent defence in trial or in a plea resolution. Fraud charges often involve an elaborate police investigation, and it takes a trained eye to pick apart the expansive evidence. 

You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

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