Fraud Criminal Code
Defined under section 380 of the Criminal Code. Like theft, fraud is also divided into two categories: Fraud under $5000, and fraud over $5000. Let’s look at the body of the section and then discuss what it means for you: “(1) Everyone who, 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,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.”
This means that an act of fraud is an indictable offence if either the value involved is more than $5000, or the document involved is a testamentary instrument such as a will. In an indictable offence, the case will either be heard by a jury or by a judge and a jury. Indictable offences are very serious offences and can result in longer sentences in case of conviction. An individual charged with fraud over cannot be released by the police and must be brought before a judge or justice for a bail hearing.
On the other hand, section 380(1)(b) states that if the fraud does not involve a testamentary instrument and the value involved is less than $5000, then such act will be considered a hybrid offence. In a hybrid offence, the prosecution has an option to either try the accused in a summary manner or by indictment.
A conviction of Fraud can result in restitution, fines, and jail time. The maximum penalty for fraud over $5000 is 14 years of imprisonment while the maximum penalty for fraud under is 2 years. If the fraud exceeds 1 million dollars, the minimum sentence of 2 years is imposed.
Fraud charges can be extremely complex and can include voluminous disclosure. Kahlon Law In Toronto can review the evidence in your case and the various options available. If you are being investigated or have been charged with fraud allegations, please give us a call at 1-(647) 978-8444 or click here to schedule a free one-hour consultation.