Fraud is a serious criminal offence with potentially severe penalties: Section 380 of the Criminal Code states that being found guilty of Fraud Over $5,000, can be punished with up to fourteen years in prison. A conviction for Fraud typically results in restitution, fines, and jail time. However it is possible to avoid jail time through probation, diversion or withdrawal of charges, depending on the gravity of the case and the circumstances of the offender,
Stories of corporate fraud, Ponzi schemes, and white-collar crime are frequently in the headlines, and commonly the subject of blockbuster films, but what does it actually mean to commit fraud? 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.
Fraud offences have become increasingly common as banking and commerce continue to expand online. Fraud charges are therefore taken very seriously by the police and prosecution and can lead to serious consequences. Fraud charges may involve lengthy, stressful, and time consuming court proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice. Your employment may 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 can 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 provided fraud defences for hundreds of clients including cases of multi-million dollar complex fraud. To name just a few, some of the cases we have defended 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. We employ exceptional legal talent including lawyers who are innovators in their field. 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, leaving no stone unturned to ensure you receive comprehensive and extraordinary representation with the best possible results.
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: Our firm has successfully defended fraud cases including 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, and securities fraud.