Criminal charges can be distressing, especially for those who are unaware that they were doing anything illegal. Donich Law has represented many individuals charged with fraud, including those tricked into committing fraud and those part of an elaborate network of fraudsters and can help lessen the repercussions of your fraud charge. Our Firm defends Fraud charges accross eastern Ontario, including Oshawa, Ajax, Pickering, Cobourg and Bowmanville.

Donich Law successfully defended a person accused of stealing $170,000 from their workplace in the 2019 case of R. v. O.I. [2019] and prevented the client from getting a criminal record.

In the 2018 case of R. v. A.B. [2018], Donich Law successfully negotiated the dismissal of all charges on behalf of a client who was accused of reselling fake concert tickets online.

Donich Law represented a defendant accused of nine counts of fraud in R. v. Z.U [2018] for taking money from elderly people to turn it into gold bullion and transfer it to the United States. The Firm was successful in getting the Crown to drop all nine charges.

Donich Law successfully defended a Canada Post employee accused of attempting to steal $50,000 from a large bank in R. v. S.A. [2017], resolving the matter without the defendant receiving a criminal record.

Donich Law successfully negotiated with the crown to have the charges against a person who allegedly forged a vulnerable sector background check withdrawn in R. v. S.D. [2017].

Donich Law successfully negotiated the dismissal of all fraud charges for a client who had allegedly participated in a commercial theft ring in R. v. K.L. [2015].

In R. v. I.B. [2014], Donich Law successfully had all charges dismissed against a person accused of participating in a scam against the Toronto Transit Commission.

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

Can Fraud be Committed Online?
Is Fraud on the Rise?
What are Aggravating Factors in Fraud Cases?
Is it Easy to Win a Fraud Case?

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

Can Fraud be Committed Online?

Any situation where someone deceives another into relinquishing goods, services, money, security, or other belongings is fraud. As such, there are countless types of fraud and many of them can be completed online.

In phishing scams, fraudsters will send out deceptive emails pretending to be representatives of large companies or banks, or specific individuals that their targeted individual might know, and try to get the targeted individual to click on a link. If the individual clicks on the link, they may be taken to a spoof website that asks for their login information and that will track what the individual types in. The fraudster will then have access to the individual’s bank account, amazon account, or social media account. The fraudster will then either log in and use these services or will hold the account for ransom and require the individual pay to retrieve it.

Another form of online fraud occurs through dating applications and websites. There, fraudsters will create fake profiles, match with as many individuals as possible, and develop trusting relationships with them before asking for money.

Is Fraud on the Rise?

Unfortunately, due to the ease with which fraud can be committed online, fraud is extremely common, and cases have only risen throughout the pandemic when lockdown measures forced many to work from home and spend more time online.

The CPA Canada 2021 Fraud Study indicated that most individuals surveyed have received fraudulent requests through emails and phone calls. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reports that Canadians lost around $381 million in fraud, up from $106.4 million in 2020.

What are Aggravating Factors in Fraud Cases? 

Aggravating factors are circumstances relating to an accused, a victim or complainant, or the facts of the case that make the accused’s actions more morally blameworthy and are likely to increase the sentence they will receive upon conviction.

Fraudsters who created larger schemes that affect more victims, are more sophisticated, involved greater planning, and that last for a long time will be punished more harshly than fraudsters who commit quick, small-scale, spontaneous acts of fraud.

Where the fraudster has committed crimes before and has targeted vulnerable victims such as children or the elderly, they will likely receive a longer sentence than individuals who are first-time offenders and have not targeted vulnerable populations.

Where the fraudster is in a trusting relationship with their victim, they will also receive a harsher punishment than where the fraudster and the victim are strangers. For example, where an employee defrauds their employer, or where a fraudster develops a romantic relationship with their victim to defraud them, this will be viewed as aggravating.

Where the fraudster’s actions caused immense loss to the victims and severely impacted them, and where the fraudster was solely acting for their own personal benefit or motivated by greed, they will receive a harsher sentence than where the victim barely suffered any loss and was not impacted, and where the fraudster was attempting to benefit others or had other reasons for committing the fraud.

Fraudsters who commit other crimes to conceal their fraud, such as by forging documents, will receive harsher punishments than those who did not go to such lengths to conceal it. They may also be charged with additional criminal offences in addition to fraud.

Voluntary termination of the fraud scheme is looked upon favourably, as a mitigating factor that could reduce the severity of the sentence, while termination of the fraud scheme only upon arrest is aggravating and could increase the harshness of the sentence received.

Is it Easy to Win a Fraud Case?

Depending on the circumstances of the case, several defences are available to individuals charged with fraud that will allow them to easily resolve their case favourably.

Where individuals lacked the necessary intent to defraud anyone, they cannot be convicted of fraud and will likely have their charges dropped or be acquitted. For an accused to prove that they lacked the necessary intent, the accused needs to demonstrate that they were unaware their actions were illegal, which can usually be demonstrated by proving they were tricked into participating in the fraudulent scheme by another fraudster. However, a lack of intent is not proven where the accused was reckless or willfully blind to the fact that they were committing fraud.

Where accused individuals never presented a real risk of loss to anyone, they will also have a strong defence to fraud charges.

Where none of these defences are available to you, there are still other potential strategies Donich Law can employ to help you resolve your case favourably.

For example, counsel can advance a Charter challenge where you were not instructed of your right to counsel, where there is an unreasonable delay in proceeding with your case, or where your home or electronics were searched illegally. Successful Charter challenges can lead to important evidence being excluded which can result in charges being withdrawn.

Quick Facts

What are Common Types of Fraud?

There are countless types of fraud, including identity theft, credit card and debit card fraud, insurance fraud, immigration fraud, employee fraud, and mortgage fraud. Donich law has experience defending individuals charged with fraud in a variety of situations.

What is the Most Common Penalty for Fraud?

An accused convicted of fraud could face anywhere from two to fourteen years in jail, or non-custodial sentences like probation or a fine. The sentence will vary depending on the value defrauded, the accused’s criminal history, and other aggravating and mitigating factors.

Will my Fraud Charge get Dropped?

A fraud case might be dropped where there are problems identifying the fraudster, or where the accused can demonstrate that they did not intend to defraud. Other factors like the facts of the case, the accused’s criminal history, and the harm done to the victim could also affect whether the case gets dropped.

Will my Assets be Frozen if I am Charged with Fraud?

A fraudster’s assets are usually only frozen in civil prosecutions after the plaintiff applies for a Minerva injunction, and not in criminal prosecutions. This injunction ensures that the victim will be compensated at the end of the lawsuit and that the fraudster will not spend or hide all the money they defrauded before judgement.

What if someone Tricked me into Committing Fraud?

Sometimes an accused gets tricked into participating in a complex fraud scheme involving several individuals and remains unaware that they are actually committing a crime. If this has happened to you, it is very important you retain experienced legal counsel to help you build your defence.

Can I Hide my Fraud Conviction?

Most criminal proceedings are made public in Canada, meaning that individuals can attend court hearings and access written decisions for fraud cases. Sometimes, law enforcement will even release information on potential fraudsters to warn the public and prevent additional victims.

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