Fraud under $5000 is a serious property offence that involves an act of deceit or falsehood that results in the deprivation or risk of deprivation of somebody else’s property. This is also applies to public property (welfare fraud cases). These charges are commonly laid in cases of shoplifting (switching price tags), employee theft (“breach of trust”) and business transactions (mortgages). It is not uncommon for the police to lay multiple fraud charges as many cases involve multiple transactions. Disclosure in fraud cases is often substantial and includes witness statements and hundreds of pages of bank records. The police have a variety of investigative tools at their disposal and Production Orders are very common in these circumstances. Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines fraud as:
A fraud conviction can negatively affect your freedom, your livelihood and your future. Our law firm has defended countless first offenders, professionals, students and tradespeople of fraud cases with successful results. Don’t take a chance with your future. If you or someone you love is facing fraud charges, contact our office no to schedule a consultation. Initial consultations are free.
The sentences for this offence vary depending on the quantum of the fraud. The Criminal Code contains two offences, Fraud Under $5000 and Fraud Over $5000. Fraud Over $5000 is a straight indictable offence which carries a maximum punishment of fourteen years in a penitentiary. Fraud Under $5000 is a hybrid offence. This gives the prosecution the option of proceeding summary or by indictment (more serious). The amount of the fraud and any criminal record of the accused almost always factor into this decision. If the crown proceeds summarily on a fraud under $5000 charge the maximum penalty is a $5000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. The maximum penalty is two years incarceration when the crown proceeds by indictment on a fraud under $5000 charge.