Fraud charges are either classified as Fraud Under $5000 or Fraud Over $5000, depending on the value of the amount alleged to have been defrauded.  It is considered a “property offence” and it is not uncommon for an accused person to have multiple counts of fraud alleged if the conduct accused of took place over a lengthy period of time.  Frauds can involve breach of trust situation involving employers, credit cards and debit cards, construction fraud involving contractors, and financial or other business or legal documents.  These charges are usually laid along with theft charges and can usually be difficult for the Crown prosecutor to prove.  As in all criminal cases, entering a plea of guilty to a fraud charge can have profoundly serious consequences.  Having a criminal record may effect your work, your immigration status, your reputation, your family and your personal freedom.

If you are facing a charge of fraud in Toronto, Oshawa, Newmarket, Brampton, or throughout Southern Ontario, the Law Office of Norm Stanford can help.  Call the office at 416.420.6107.  Consultations are always free.

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What is the possible penalty for Fraud Over $5000?

Under the Criminal Code of Canada,  Section cc. 380.(1), every one who is found guilty of Fraud Over $5000 is guilty of an indictable offense that is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to fourteen years.

What is the possible penalty for Fraud Under $5000?

Under the Criminal Code of Canada,  Section cc. 380.(1)(b), every one who is found guilty of Fraud Under $5000 is guilty of an indictable offense that is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to two years, or in less serious cases, by an offence punishable on summary conviction.

What if I pay back the money?

Once a charge of Fraud has been laid, you are “in the system” and your criminal matter will proceed.  Paying back whatever money is alleged to have been defrauded will not result in any automatic dropping of the charges.  The matter is in the hands of the Crown prosecutor.  An offer to pay back the money or value of the property in certain situations may be useful as a mitigating factor and result in a lower penalty.  In certain situations where the case against you is not very strong, your lawyer may be able to use an offer to pay back money or return property as a bargaining tool that may result in charges against you being dropped.

Are there defences to fraud?

As with most criminal charges, you may have certain defences available to you, including lack of intent to defraud, depending on the circumstances of your charge.  You will need to explain what happened to your lawyer to determine if any of these defences are available.

What do I do if I’ve been charged with fraud?

Call the office for a free consultation.  The most important issues that you will discuss are:

  • Are you a Canadian citizen?
  • What are the circumstances of the charges?
  • What is the value of the alleged fraud?
  • The strength of the case against you
  • Were there any witnesses to the alleged incident?
  • What are your main goals — beating the charge, not going to jail, not having a criminal record?

The Law Office of Norm Stanford handles Fraud under $5000 and Fraud over $5000 cases throughout Ontario and will help you get through this at a cost you can afford.  Consultations are always free.  (416) 420-6107.