Arson for Fraudulent Purpose

Arson for Fraudulent Purpose

The offence of arson for fraudulent purpose is outlined in section 435(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of arson for fraudulent purpose when they cause damage by fire or explosion to property, whether or not they own the property, with the intention of defrauding another person.

Examples

Person C sets fire to person D’s old motorcycle so that person D can file an insurance claim to get the money for a new motorcycle.

Person E intentionally sets their house on fire and sues person F for millions in damages and emotional distress, claiming that person F’s faulty product started the fire.

Cases

R. v. Mirzakhalili, 2008 CanLII 23708 (ON SC)

In R. v. Mirzakhalili, the two accused were convicted of one count of arson for fraudulent purpose when they intentionally burned down their tanning salon to collect the insurance payment, as the business was failing and the two accused had financial problems.

R. v. Nguyen, 2016 BCCA 381

In R. v. Nguyen, the accused was convicted of one count of arson for fraudulent purpose when she intentionally burned down her salon to collect the insurance payment, as the business was failing.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

No Fire or Explosion

Where the person damages the property through means other than a fire or explosion, they have not completed the offence of arson for fraudulent purpose.

No Fraudulent Intention

Where the person causing the damage to property by fire or explosion does not do so with the intention of defrauding another person, they may not have completed the offence of arson for fraudulent purpose. They may, however, have committed another arson offence.

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