Fraud is an area of law where civil law issues and criminal law often intersect. In fact, the classic definition of fraud in criminal law is found in a reference case from 1903 that sought to create a distinction between the definition of fraud in criminal law from its definition in civil law. In re: London & Globe Finance Corp. Ltd. fraud is defined as: “To defraud is to deprive by deceit: it is by deceit to induce a man to act to his injury. More tersely it may be put, that to deceive is by falsehood to induce a state of mind; to defraud is by deceit to induce a course of action”.
Criminal offence of fraud
Fraud captures a wide range of conduct including, but not limited to: false representation of facts by words or conduct; false or misleading accusations; and, concealment of facts that should be disclosed. Typically, fraud involves deliberately deceptive conduct that results in loss of property, money, or valuable securities. However, actual economic loss is not necessary to make out the offence of fraud; risk of prejudice is sufficient.
As a criminal offence, a conviction for fraud requires proof of the intent to deceive the victim. The necessary component of intent can be established by proof of subjective knowledge of the deceiving act, and subjective knowledge that the act could have as a consequence deprivation in the sense of causing the victim to lose their pecuniary interest. When prosecuted criminally, fraud charges can carry serious and long lasting consequences including a criminal record, jail time, and a heavy fine.
Fraud charges are found in Part X of the Criminal Code titled “Fraudulent Transactions Relating To Contracts And Trade”. Some fraud related charges are: Fraud; Mail Fraud; Identity Fraud; Forgery; Theft, Forgery of Credit Card; and, Breach of Trust.
Consequences of a convictions
Studies have shown that fraud is an offence that is consistently under reported. A large fraction of the population is susceptible to fraud and up to 34 percent of Canadians have fallen victim to fraud with loses approaching $100 million. Fraud can be found in many areas of life and transactions including: real estate; banking; credit cards; insurance; welfare; online; and stocks and securities.
At its core, fraud is a financial crime that involves dishonesty, deceit, and financial loss. If you or a loved one is charged with fraud, the consequences could go far beyond a criminal conviction. You may lose your license to practice in your profession; you could be banned from your industry; you could lose the investment capital in your business; and there could be forfeiture of your personal or business assets. In order to protect yourself, you will need an experienced criminal defence lawyer who understands the process and procedures of fraud trials and financial transactions.
Evidence in fraud cases
Evidence in fraud cases will often involve a large number of financial documents. You want an experienced criminal lawyer who will challenge the evidence to weaken the case and ultimately get the most favourable outcome for you. If you are charged with fraud, or suspect that you could be charged with fraud, it is crucial to speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer immediately.
A criminal defence lawyer can play an essential role in gathering and organizing necessary documents, records, and evidence needed to prove your innocence. An internal investigation by an experienced criminal defence lawyer may yield evidence that prevents the charges from being laid or, in the end, lead to a dismissal of the case.
The law office of Deniz Sarikaya has successfully represented clients in complex fraud cases. If you have been charged with fraud or have been notified that you are under investigation you will need an experienced criminal defence lawyer to mount a solid defence.
An experienced criminal lawyer can get the charges against you dropped by showing that the prosecution lacks proof of the charge or showing that there was no criminal intent to defraud. Alternatively, an experienced criminal lawyer can negotiate a plea deal to a lesser offence and for a lesser penalty.
Are you charged with fraud? If so, call Mr. Sarikaya at 647-282-5777 to set up a free consultation.