I can fight your charges and help you avoid jail and a criminal record. Fraud and white-collar crime charges are usually very complex matters involving experienced crown attorneys as well as voluminous disclosure. The police will often obtain judicial authorization for search warrants and production orders in fraud cases, which allow them to “follow the paper trail” as they investigate allegations of fraudulent behavior. The client can expect hundreds of pages of disclosure in these types of cases, depending on the quantum of the fraud.
Put simply, fraud is the dishonest deprivation of something which belongs to another person. Fraud also includes the dishonest deprivation, by deceit, of something that another person was entitled to. Section 380 (1) of the Criminal Code of Canada states that “Everyone who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, defrauds the public or any person of any property, money or valuable security or any service” is guilty of fraud. Section 380 divides the definition of fraud into two categories, fraud as a result of deceit or falsehood, or fraud committed by other fraudulent means. Our courts have held that “other fraudulent means” constitute dishonest behavior that causes deprivation, or the risk of deprivation. The crown is not required to prove the actual financial loss to the victim as the provision also criminalizes conduct that causes a risk of prejudice to the economic interests of the victim.
Fraud charges are either classified as fraud under $5000 or fraud over $5000, depending on the value of the amount alleged to have been defrauded. It is considered a “property offence” and it is not uncommon for an accused person to have multiple counts of fraud alleged if the conduct alleged took place over a lengthy period of time. Those looking for advice on fraud charges should consult a criminal lawyer.
As in all criminal cases, entering a plea of guilty to a fraud charge can have profoundly serious consequences. Having a criminal record may affect your work, your immigration status, your reputation, your family, and your personal freedom. A conviction for fraud is particularly problematic because it is considered a crime of dishonesty.
In any fraud case, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that fraud occurred. In making their case, the prosecutor will often rely on a complex paper trail and witnesses. At every turn, there may be opportunities to exclude or challenge such evidence. I have the experience and skill to spot these opportunities and take full advantage of any possible weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.