Fraud is a broad term that often involves a breach of trust. There are three parts to a fraud offence which include; (1) a dishonest act, (2) a loss suffered by another party (or risk of a loss), and (3) knowledge that the act could result in another person suffering a loss (or the risk of a loss).
Some common examples of fraud include; insurance fraud, ponzi schemes, credit and debit card fraud, making dishonest statements, submitting false expense or reimbursement claims, retail fraud schemes and mortgage fraud schemes. Fraud offenses are often hard for prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Considered a crime of dishonesty, there can be serious social consequences of pleading guilty to a fraud charge, including imprisonment.
The most common charges under a fraud offence:
- Fraud under $5000 – Criminal Code section 380(1)(b)
- Fraud over $5000 – Criminal Code section 380(1)(a)
- Criminal record
- Jail time of up to 10 years (Over $5000); Jail time of up to 2 years (Under $5000)
- Fine of up to $5000
Fraud is often difficult to prove in court and requires a considerable amount of time and effort of the police and prosecutor. In some cases, an offer to pay back the money or value of the property (referred to as "restitution") which may result in charges being withdrawn or the sentence be reduced. It is best to speak to Mike regarding your options.