Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Common Bail Conditions for Fraud?
If an accused person is released on bail prior to a trial for fraud, they will have to agree to and follow certain conditions. If these conditions are violated, the accused will be subject to pre-trial detention. Because fraud is a crime against property, its common bail conditions are different than a crime against a person such as assault. Common bail conditions for fraud can include: a no contact order that prohibits the accused from contacting any of their victims; a ban from the location or, if applicable, locations of the same franchise where the fraud was committed; a prohibition against possessing financial instruments like credit cards that are not in the accused’s name; and the offender may be ordered to notify the police of any change of employment or address. These conditions are meant to protect the victims of fraud, while making it easier for the police to know if any of these conditions have been breached.
What are the Common Penalties Faced by Someone Convicted of Fraud in Brampton?
Section 380(1) of the Code sets out the punishments that offenders face if they are convicted of fraud. At the most severe end, anyone convicted of fraud where the value of the money or other goods at issue is more than $5,000, the accused fraudulently affected a public market like the stock market or the sale of goods, or if the fraud involved someone’s last will and testament, the accused can be sentenced to up to fourteen years imprisonment. If the value of the subject of the fraud is less than $5,000, they can face either two years imprisonment if the Crown elects to prosecute a case as an indictable offence, or up to two years less a day of imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine if the case is prosecuted as a summary offence.
A judge may also issue a forfeiture order that requires the offender to give up the proceeds of the fraud, or a restitution order which forces the offender to pay the victim back the amount of the fraud if an actual loss occurred. Or in some circumstances, an order will be issued that prevents someone from holding employment or a volunteer position where they have authority over someone else’s money for a specified period up to and including a lifetime prohibition in the most serious cases. The exact sentence an offender receives will depend on the circumstances of the offence and any applicable aggravating and mitigating factors.
What are Some of the Different Types of Fraud?
Fraud can take many forms, as the only requirement is that a fraudster needs to knowingly trick or deceive a victim into giving them money or other valuable goods. The current state of technology adds more variety to the kinds of possible schemes, while also increasing the chances of victimization. The Peel Regional Police have developed resources that describe common types of fraud and provide advice on how the residents of the region – including Brampton – can best protect themselves.
Beyond the types of schemes outlined by the resource provided above, people should be aware of other common schemes. Ponzi schemes are frauds where someone tricks a group of victims into investing in something and promising a big return on that investment. The fraudster then pockets the money given to him instead of investing it and tricks more people into investing. To keep the scheme going longer, the fraudster may use some of the money from the second group of victims to pay out the first group, making the scheme seem legitimate. Users of online marketplaces like Kijiji also need to be aware of several possible schemes such as fraudsters knowingly selling merchandise that is in a different condition than advertised and hiding it from a buyer, attempting to avoid conducting a transaction face-to-face and with payment in advance, and more.
Will Someone Go to Jail for Fraud in Brampton?
Imprisonment is a common sentence for fraud offences. The exact sentence each person receives will depend on the circumstances of each case and the balance of aggravating and mitigating factors. However, s. 380(1.1) of the Code sets the minimum sentence for any fraud valued over $1 million at two years imprisonment. The key consideration behind the law’s scope of punishment for fraud is the reality that it can have severe impacts on the lives of victims and the economy. This compounded by the fact that the most vulnerable parts of society are often targets for fraud.
The law imposes strict punishment for fraud partially because it seeks to protect relationships of trust like those between family members, caretakers and their charges, and particularly employers and employees. If an offender abuses such a relationship, a prison sentence is more likely. These circumstances can also lead to imprisonment for young offenders, a rare thing in Canadian law, which highlights the importance of this matter.
An example of a sentence stemming from an abuse of trust can be seen in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia case of R. v. Tibbo, 2022 NSSC 321 (CanLII) where an offender was convicted of fraud and theft after they had been hired by the sole owner of a business to handle bookkeeping duties. The business owner was illiterate and placed their complete trust in the offender. Over the course of about two years, the offender completely emptied their employer’s account, valuing almost $100,000. Based on these facts, the offender was sentenced to six months imprisonment, 12 months of probation and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim.