Fraud is a serious criminal offence. The penalties for a Fraud conviction are severe, including up to 14 years in prison. A conviction for Fraud typically results in restitution, fines, and jail time. However, depending on the gravity of the case and the circumstances of the offender, it is possible to avoid jail time, whether through probation, diversion or withdrawal of charges.
Stories of corporate fraud, Ponzi schemes, and white-collar crimes are frequently in the headlines, and commonly the subject of blockbuster films. According to the Criminal Code, Fraud is committed when a person "by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service." The Criminal Code does not define fraud any further than this.
With the increase in online banking, shopping and business the offence of Fraud has become increasingly common. Fraud charges are therefore taken very seriously by the police and prosecution and can lead to serious consequences. If you face a charge of Fraud you may become involved in lengthy court proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice which are stressful and time consuming. Your employment will also be in jeopardy as many employers have policies against hiring or continuing to employ someone with a Fraud conviction. It is imperative that professional legal counsel be sought at the outset to deal with these charges. Even individuals who are not the architects of fraudulent schemes can be charged and prosecuted. Anyone who is seen by the police or the Crown Attorney to assist a fraud scheme in any way can be charged and convicted as a party to the offence.
These cases can be extremely complex and include voluminous disclosure from the Crown. Many cases involve issues such as breaches of trust and can be in such contexts as employment, families, mortgages, tax, etc. Convictions for larger fraud cases can result in significant jail sentences or highly restrictive conditional sentences. They require a criminal defence lawyer with experience, persistence and determination.
As one of the largest criminal defence law firms in Toronto, Caramanna, Friedberg LLP has successfully represented hundreds of clients facing fraud charges including multi-million dollar complex fraud cases. To name just a few, some of the complex cases we have defended have involved:
- Tax fraud
- Mortgage Fraud
- Charity Fraud
- Internet Fraud
- Breach of Trust
- Employment Fraud
- Medical Health Practitioner Fraud
- Loan Fraud
- Real Estate Fraud
- Credit Card Fraud
- Email and Inheritance Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Medical Insurance Fraud
Caramanna Friedberg is a leading criminal law firm in Toronto that employs exceptional legal talent; our lawyers are innovators in the field of criminal law. We have the experience and track record to be your passionate advocate through the criminal process. From the very start of the process, we will be by your side and leave no stone unturned to ensure you receive comprehensive and extraordinary representation every step of the way to achieve the best possible result.
FAQ about Fraud
Q: What is the maximum penalty for fraud over $5000?
A: You could face up to 14 years of imprisonment for a conviction of Fraud Over. A minimum sentence of 2 years imprisonment is imposed if the total amount of fraud exceeds 1 million dollars.
Q: What is the maximum penalty for fraud under 5000$?
A: You could face up to 2 years imprisonment if you are found guilty of this offence.
Q: What if I pay back the money?
A: Paying a victim back can sometimes result in a more favourable outcome for your case. However, you should always consult a lawyer before doing this.
Q: What if I didn’t know I was part of a fraud?
A: In order for the Crown to prove the case against you, they have to show that you had the requisite intent to commit a fraud.
Q: What kinds of fraud cases have the criminal lawyers in your firm successfully handled over the years?
A: To name a few, our firm has successfully defended cases involving multi-million dollar corporate fraud, insurance fraud, inheritance fraud, breach of trust, bank account and credit card fraud, real estate and mortgage fraud, tax fraud, securities fraud, etc.