Fraud is commonly prosecuted in Mississauga and Oakville. Being charged with any criminal offence can be frustrating and overwhelming, and a criminal conviction can be life-changing. Donich Law has years of experience defending individuals charged with criminal offences, including fraud, and counsel can help simplify the process and avoid or reduce the consequences of a criminal conviction.

In the 2019 case of R. v. O.I. [2019], Donich Law defended an individual charged with defrauding their employer of around $170,000 and resolved the case without the individual receiving a criminal record.

In the 2018 case of R. v. A.B. [2018], Donich Law represented an individual alleged to have been selling fake concert tickets online and managed to negotiate a complete withdrawal of all charges.

In the 2018 case of R. v. Z.U.  [2018], Donich Law defended an individual charged with nine counts of fraud. The client was alleged to have stolen money from senior citizens to convert into gold bullion and ship to the United States. In this case involving law enforcement officials from both countries, the Firm managed to have all nine charges stayed.

In the 2017 case of R. v. S.A. [2017], Donich Law represented a Canada Post employee who was alleged to have attempted to defraud $50,000 from a major bank and successfully resolved the case, preventing the individual from receiving a criminal record.

Later that year, in the case of R. v. S.D. [2017], Donich Law represented an individual who allegedly falsified a vulnerable sector background check, successfully negotiating with the crown to withdraw the charge.

In the 2015 case of R. v. K.L. [2015], Donich Law represented an individual allegedly involved in a commercial theft ring and successfully negotiated the withdrawal of all fraud charges.

In the 2014 case of R. v. I.B. [2014], Donich Law represented an individual charged with fraud and other related offences for allegedly helping to defraud the Toronto Transit Commission. Donich Law secured the withdrawal of all charges.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

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Legal Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Fraud?
What are Common Types of Fraud?
What is the Penalty for a Fraud Conviction in Peel?
Will I go to Jail for Fraud?
How to Defend a Fraud Charge in Mississauga and Oakville?

Additional Resources

Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

What is Fraud?

The offence of fraud is outlined in section 380(1) of the Criminal Code and occurs when someone intentionally deceives another person or the public into relinquishing their goods, services, money, security, or other belongings.

The Criminal Code separates fraud into fraud under $5,000.00 and fraud over $5,000.00, and the type of fraud a person is charged with depends on the value defrauded from a person or the public. If the individual defrauded a person or the public out of less than $5,000.00, they will be charged with fraud under $5,000.00. If they defrauded a person or the public out of over $5,000.00, they will be charged with fraud over $5,000.00.

What are Common Types of Fraud?

There are countless types of fraud. Some common types include corporate fraud, insurance fraud, mortgage fraud, investment fraud, and immigration fraud.

Corporate fraud occurs where officers and directors of the corporation take money from the company’s account for personal expenses after claiming to use this money for legitimate business expenses. Insurance fraud occurs where someone lies on an insurance application, such as by filing insurance claims for non-existent damages or injuries. One of the most common types of insurance fraud is employee health benefit fraud. This occurs when an individual makes claims for services that were not rendered.

Mortgage fraud occurs when the fraudster lies to obtain mortgage financing that they would not otherwise receive. Investment fraud occurs where someone passes as an investment professional or company promising to invest the victim’s money but instead uses the money for other purposes and never returns it.

Immigration fraud occurs where someone lies on an immigration application, during an interview with an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada officer, or where someone provides false or altered documentation to support an immigration application.

What is the Penalty for a Fraud Conviction in Mississauga and Oakville?

Individuals convicted of fraud offences will face serious legal penalties in Mississauga and Oakville, but due to the broad nature of fraud and offences, it can be difficult to predict the exact sentence an accused will receive. The severity of the sentence will depend on the facts of the case, the accused’s background and criminal record, and other aggravating and mitigating factors.

For the offence of fraud under $5,000.00, the Crown can elect to proceed summarily or by indictment, which will impact the proceedings and the maximum penalty available. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the maximum penalty available is two years less a day in jail, a fine of up to $5,000.00, or both. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum penalty available is two years in jail.

For the offence of fraud over $5,000.00, the Crown must proceed by indictment and the maximum penalty available is always 14 years in jail. Where the value defrauded is over one million Canadian dollars, there is also a mandatory minimum penalty of one year in prison.

These criminal sanctions are quite serious, and they are not the only ways in which a fraud conviction can affect your life. Those charged with fraud could have a hard time getting or maintaining a job, as many employers see someone with a fraud conviction as a liability to their business. A criminal conviction of any kind can also make it difficult to travel outside of Canada, as the United States and many other countries will refuse entry to individuals with a criminal record.

It is important to consult experienced legal counsel right away if you have been charged with a fraud offence. The experienced counsel at Donich Law can help prevent or minimize the negative impacts of a fraud charge.

Will I go to Jail for Fraud?

You might have to go to jail if convicted of fraud. Those convicted of fraud could receive a sentence ranging from probation, fines, and community service to years of jail time.

One of the most important factors determining whether an individual will be sentenced to jail time for a fraud offence is the value of the fraud. Where charged with fraud under $5,000.00, an individual faces a maximum of two years in jail, but where charged with fraud over $5,000.00, an individual faces a maximum of 14 years in jail. Where the value defrauded is over one million dollars, the individual will have to serve at least two years in jail.

Other relevant factors that will determine whether an individual will receive jail time for committing fraud include the characteristics of the accused and the circumstances of the crime. All aggravating and mitigating factors are weighed to determine an appropriate sentence.

The presence of one or more aggravating factors could result in an increased penalty for the accused. Some aggravating factors include the intricacy, length, and extent of the fraudulent activity, whether records relating to the fraudulent activity were intentionally destroyed or concealed, whether a position of authority or trust was abused to commit the fraud, the number of victims and their personal characteristics including their age and mental capacity, the level of impact of the fraud on the victims, and whether the fraud was committed to benefit a criminal or terrorist organization.

The presence of one or more mitigating factors, however, could result in a reduced penalty for the accused. Some mitigating factors include whether the accused is a first-time offender, whether the accused is young, whether the accused voluntarily repaid the amount defrauded before sentencing, whether the accused has strong ties to their community, whether the accused had an honest motive such as a serious health condition, and whether the accused suffered a significant personal loss committing this offence.

How to Defend a Fraud Charge in Mississauga and Oakville?

Defending a fraud charge will require understanding the allegations being made against you and the evidence the Crown will present to prove their case. To beat the case against you, you will need to refute the evidence being presented by the Crown. Because of this, your defence must be tailored to the specific allegations made against you.

As the Crown will need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused intended to defraud the victim for you to be found guilty of fraud, a common defence in a fraud case is that the accused lacked the necessary intent. This argument can be made where the accused was tricked into the fraudulent scheme and did not know they were engaged in unlawful activities, or where the accused has another reason for being unaware that their actions were fraudulent. However, being reckless or wilfully blind as to whether their actions amounted to fraud does not allow the accused to present this defence.

The Crown will also need to prove that the victim suffered a loss or risked suffering a loss due to the accused’s actions for them to be found guilty of fraud. As such, another common defence in a fraud case is to argue that the accused’s actions never presented a realistic risk of a loss to anyone.

Quick Facts

What is Fraud?

Fraud occurs where an individual intentionally deceives another person or the public into relinquishing their goods, services, money, security, or other belongings.

Is Fraud the Same as Theft?

Fraud is not the same as theft, although they are very similar offences. Both offences involve the accused taking something that does not belong to them from someone else with the intention of depriving that other person of it. However, unlike theft, fraud involves an additional element of the accused taking steps to cover up their actions.

What is the Most Common Penalty for Fraud?

The penalty for fraud can vary depending on the value of the amount defrauded, the accused’s circumstances, and the facts of the case. Depending on these factors, the accused could face anywhere from two to fourteen years in jail, or other non-custodial sentences including probation, a fine, or community service.

Will my Fraud Charge be Prosecuted?

Whether a fraud charge will be successfully prosecuted depends on many factors including the accused’s background and criminal history, the circumstances of the case, the circumstances of the victim and the evidence available to the Crown. The case might be dropped where it is uncertain who the fraudster is, or where the accused lacked the necessary intent to defraud others.

Will my Assets be Frozen?

If a fraud case is being persecuted civilly, meaning the victim has sued the fraudster, the victim can apply to the court for a Minerva injunction to freeze the fraudster’s assets pending the resolution of the civil case to ensure that the fraudster will not spend or hide all the money defrauded before the victim can claim compensation. However, this is only done in civil lawsuits and not in criminal cases. So, where the fraudster is not being sued and only criminally prosecuted, their assets will likely not be frozen.

What if someone Tricked me into Committing Fraud?

Sometimes an accused may have been tricked into participating in a complex fraud scheme involving several individuals and they may remain unaware that their actions are unlawful. When this happens, it is very important for the accused to retain experienced legal counsel to assist in developing an appropriate strategy to defend their case.

Can I Hide my Fraud Conviction?

Most criminal proceedings are public information in Canada, meaning that an individual’s fraud conviction and the judge’s written reasons for this conviction will be publicly accessible. Sometimes, police release information on potential fraudsters to warn the public and prevent and/or seek out additional victims.

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