Being convicted of fraud can ruin your personal and professional reputation. If you are facing a fraud charge, you should obtain immediate legal advice to explore how your charge may be defended and how the negative impacts of the charge can be minimized.

Fraud(s. 380(1) of the Criminal Code) is a broad offence that can involve anything from writing a bad cheque to swindling members of the public out of millions of dollars. In order to be convicted of fraud, the Crown attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you used deceit, lies or other fraudulent means to deprive the public or any person of property, money, valuable security or service.

Fraud cases are rarely straightforward. In defending your case it may be possible to argue thatthe acts in question were, in fact, honest mistakes or legitimate business practices that should not be considered criminal or that you were unaware that your acts could lead to the deprivation of others. Your lawyer may also be able to raise Charter issues that will help your case. For example, if evidence is obtained by the police through an “unreasonable search and seizure,” your lawyer can apply to have that evidence excluded from court proceedings. If the application is successful and evidence important to the Crown attorney’s case is excluded, the Crown attorney may decide to drop the charges against you.

If you are convicted and the subject matter of the offence is worth more than $1,000,000, there is a mandatory minimum jail term of two years.

If you are convicted and the subject matter of the offence is worth more than $5000 or your act has affected the market price of stocks, shares or anything sold to the public, you could receive a jail term of up to 14 years.

If the subject matter of the offence is worth less than $5000, the Crown attorney can choose to prosecute the charge as an indictable (more serious) or a summary (less serious) offence. If you are convicted of an indictable offence, you could receive a jail term of up to two years.

If you are found guilty of Fraud, you may also be required to reimburse anyone for any losses they suffered as a result of your actions. Furthermore, the court may make an order prohibiting you from working or volunteering in any position that involves having control over the property, money or valuable security of another person.

If you are located in Ottawa, Toronto, Hull, Gatineau, Brockville, Cornwall, Pembroke or anywhere in Ontario or Quebec, Dynamic Legal Solutions can help you find a lawyer to fight your case.

Click here to ask a question which will be responded to by a lawyer who practices in Ontario and Quebec in this area of the law.

Dynamic Legal Solutions recommends the services of David Anber, a criminal lawyer in Ottawa who practices in Brockville, Cornwall, Montreal, Toronto and across Quebec and Ontario.

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