FRAUD DEFENCE LAWYERS IN TORONTO

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TORONTO FRAUD LAWYER

Fraud is often associated with white collar crime which may include Antitrust Violations, Bribery, Credit Card Fraud, Counterfeiting, Extortion, Forgery, Illegal Insider Trading and Misappropriation of Trust Funds. We handle situations where individuals facing these allegations are law abiding citizens with no criminal history and help them achieve the best results. Many times these individuals weren’t even aware the alleged conduct was fraudulent. The Criminal Law Group has focused on Employer/Employee Fraud. We have successfully defended numerous allegations of fraud by Employees from the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, HomeSense, Investors Group, Target, Aldo, Wine Rack, GNC, TTC and Telus among many others. We have specialized in defending complex internal Fraud rings, such as sophisticated Fraudulent TTC Metropass and Token schemes in its R. v. I.B. [2014] where all charges of Fraud, Uttering Forged Documents and Possession of Property Obtained By Crime were withdrawn. These police stings often involve elaborate searches and seizure of office computers, mobile devices and files. The Firm recently secured a withdrawal of eight (8) charges of Fraud related charges, attempt Fraud and Conspiracy Charges in its R. v. K.L. [2015], where the accused was allegedly involved in a Staples and Target commercial Theft Ring.

In January, 2017, the Firm resolved four (4) Fraud related allegations without a criminal record against a Canada Post employee charged with defrauding the Bank of Nova Scotia over $50,000.00 in its R. v. S.A. [2017]. The Firm is frequently consulted by the Media with respect to Theft and Fraud allegations in Toronto and often appears on CityNews680News and other Toronto Media organization including Global News.

In March 2016, the Firm resolved a $1,500 Fraud and Theft Under $5,000 allegation from The Bay, without a Criminal Record, where a Bay Street employee was charged with Shoplifting and caught by undercover security in the menswear department in its R. v. C.T. [2016].  The Firm further secured a withdrawal of nine (9) charges of Theft and Fraud from The Bay after a year of litigation in its R. v. G.E. [2016].

We have successfully secured withdrawals for large scale fraud allegations. In our recent R. v. A.N. [2013], we successfully secured a withdrawal on all counts of fraud, possession of property obtained by crime and uttering forged documents for a $56,000.00 RBC banking transaction.

In the Firm’s new R. v. S.C. [2015], further resolved a $60,000.00 HomeSense employee fraud ring without a criminal record. In its R. v. N.B. [2015] and R. v. B.L. [2015] the Criminal Law Group defended a Target Canada Internal Employee Fraud Ring, it successfully resolved all 13 Fraud Charges without a criminal record, nearly all participants were University Students and first offenders. In its R. v. G.G [2015] the Criminal Law Group further secured a full withdrawal of all counts of Fraud and Theft by a BMO Bank Teller  accused of robbing the bank on the job.

Depending on the value of the defrauded property, a charge of fraud will be for either under or over $5,000. When approached by clients charged with an allegation of fraud, we critically analyze the extensive disclosure which frequently accompanies these charges. Depending on the complexity of the allegation, we have worked with forensic accountants in executing our defence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between Fraud Under $5,000 and Fraud Over $5,000?
What is Property Obtained by Crime?
What are some of the Penalties of Property Obtained by Crime?
What is Uttering Forged Documents?
What are some of the Penalties of Uttering Forged Documents?
What is Employer-Employee Fraud?
What are the Sentencing Implications of Fraud from an Employer?
What Does the Crown Have to Prove for a Conviction of Fraud?
What is restitution?
What are Some Defences to an Allegation of Fraud?
What is Identity Fraud?

What is the Difference between Fraud Under $5,000 and Fraud Over $5,000?

Section 380(1) of the Criminal Code sets out fraud charges are classified as Fraud under $5,000 or Fraud over $5,000. The elements of the offence that the Crown must prove are the same for both, except for the monetary value of the fraud. For Fraud under charges, the Crown must prove the fraudulent amount was under $5,000; and for Fraud over charges, the Crown must prove the amount was over $5,000.

The two offences also differ in terms of penalty. Section 380(1)(a) sets out that Fraud over $5,000 is an indictable offence, punishable by up to fourteen years imprisonment. Comparatively, Section 380(1)(b) sets out that Fraud under $5,000 is a hybrid offence and can be prosecuted either summarily or by indictment. If prosecuted by indictment, the accused is liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

What is Property Obtained by Crime?

According to Section 354(1) of the Criminal Code, property obtained by crime is any property or thing or any proceeds of any property or thing that was derived directly or indirectly from:

  1. the commission in Canada of an offence punishable by indictment; or
  2. an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted an offence punishable by indictment.

Section 354(1) makes it a criminal offence to possess any property if you have knowledge that all or part of the property was obtained by crime.

Section 355.2 of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to traffic (sell, give, transfer, transport, export from Canada, import into Canada, send, deliver or deal with in any other way, or to offer to do any of those acts) property obtained by crime.

What are some of the Penalties of Property Obtained by Crime?

Penalties for a conviction of possessing or trafficking property obtained by crime will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the characteristics of the offender and the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors.

Section 355 sets out that possession of property obtained by crime is punishable by up to two years imprisonment if the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five-thousand dollars. If the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five-thousand dollars, the offence is punishable by summary conviction.

Section 355.5 sets out that trafficking of property obtained by crime is punishable by up to fourteen years imprisonment if the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five-thousand dollars. If the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five-thousand dollars, the offence is hybrid and the Crown can choose to proceed either summarily or by indictment. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the offence is punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

What is Uttering Forged Documents?

Section 366 of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to commit forgery. Every one commits forgery who makes a false document, which he or she knows to be false and intends for it to:

  1. Be used in any way or acted on as genuine, to the prejudice of anyone; or
  2. Induce a person, who believes the document is genuine, to do or refrain from doing anything.

The statute specifically states the offence is not limited to what occurs within the borders of Canada. Rather, if a forgery causes prejudice to someone outside of Canada or induces a person outside of Canada to act a certain way, it is still punishable as a criminal offence here in Canada.

What are some of the Penalties of Uttering Forged Documents?

Penalties for a conviction of forgery will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the offence, the characteristics of the offender and the presence of aggravating/mitigating factors.

Section 367 of the Criminal Code sets out that a conviction for forgery can result in up to ten years imprisonment if the Crown proceeds by indictment.

What is Employer-Employee Fraud?

Employer-employee fraud requires the Crown prove the same elements of the offence. The only difference is that the fraud takes place against a specific party – the individual’s employer. Fraud against an employer is a more serious type of fraud than traditional fraud because a breach of trust occurred between the employee and the employer, which becomes an aggravating factor at sentencing.

What are the Sentencing Implications of Fraud from an Employer?

The breach of trust that occurs in the context of employer-employee fraud is an aggravating factor at sentencing. Generally, a conviction for employer-employee fraud will yield a harsher sentence than traditional fraud.

Normally, a suspended sentence is the starting point for sentencing in the context of employer-employee fraud

What Does the Crown Have to Prove for a Conviction of Fraud?

For a conviction of fraud the Crown must prove that the accused committed both the guilty act of fraud and that he or she intended to do so. Various fraud offences have different elements that the Crown must prove. For example, Section 403 of the Criminal Code sets out that to prove identity fraud the Crown must prove that the accused intended to personate an actual person, whether living or dead.

To secure a conviction for general fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code, the Crown must prove the following elements:

  1. There was a dishonest act, established by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means;
  2. That defrauded the public or any person of any property, money or valuable security or any service; and
  3. The accused was aware he or she was engaging in a dishonest act; and
  4. He or she intended to commit that act.

What is restitution?

Restitution is an order made by the court that the accused must pay a sum of money to compensate a party for a proven loss. For example, an accused person could be ordered to pay $500 restitution to compensate a person for credit card fraud he committed by using his or her credit card.

Restitution orders are meant to rehabilitate offenders by making them immediately responsible for losses sustained by victims. They also give victims a quick way to try and recover their losses.

Restitution orders can be made as part of a term of probation or as stand-alone orders. Sections 738 to 741 deal with ordering restitution payments to victims of crime.

What are Some Defences to an Allegation of Fraud?

The availability of criminal defences will vary depending on the circumstances of the offence and the characteristics of the offender.

One common defence to an allegation of fraud is a lack of intent to defraud. Fraud requires that an individual be aware that they are committing a fraudulent act and intend to do so. It is possible to defend an accused person against an allegation of fraud by claiming he or she did not intend to commit fraud.

However, the circumstances of each case are different and it is important to canvas the relevant facts with a lawyer to determine what defence(s) could be available to you.

What is Identity Fraud?

Identity fraud is a specific branch of fraud, punishable under Section 403 of the Criminal Code, which sets out that everyone commits an offence who fraudulently personates another person, living or dead,

  1. With intent to gain advantages for themselves or another person;
  2. With intent to obtain any property or an interest in any property;
  3. With intent to cause disadvantage to the person being personated or another person; or
  4. With intent to avoid arrest or prosecution or to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.

Basically, identity fraud covers most situations where an individual intentionally pretends to be another person for the purpose of obtaining a benefit or causing a disadvantage to another.

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623

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