The offence of fraud is committed where a person obtains property from another by a dishonest act of deception. It is important to note that a person does not commit the offence of fraud unless the deception was intentional or reckless.A person does not commit this offence by obtaining or intending to obtain property belonging to another unless the person intends to permanently deprive the other of the property.
The offence of fraud carries a maximum penalty of 10 years jail (imprisonment).
Section 192E Crimes Act 1900
1. The accused commits an act of deception; and by that act;
2. obtains property belonging to another, or obtains a financial advantage or causes financial disadvantage; and
3. The obtaining of that property or advantage or causing of that loss is dishonest (as defined)
“Cause” a financial disadvantage means:
(a) cause a financial disadvantage to another person, or
(b) induce a third person to do something that results in another person suffering a financial disadvantage, whether the financial disadvantage is permanent or temporary.
Deception means any deception, by words or other conduct, as to fact or as to law, including:
(a) a deception as to the intentions of the person using the deception or any other person, or
(b) conduct by a person that causes a computer, a machine or any electronic device to make a response that the person is not authorised to cause it to make.
Dishonesty means dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people and known by the defendant to be dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people.
A person “obtains property” if:
(a) the person obtains ownership, possession or control of the property for himself or herself or for another person, or
(b) the person enables ownership, possession or control of the property to be retained by himself or herself or by another person, or
(c) the person induces a third person to do something that results in the person or another person obtaining or retaining ownership, possession or control of the property.
“Obtain” a financial advantage includes:
(a) obtain a financial advantage for oneself or for another person, and
(b) induce a third person to do something that results in oneself or another person obtaining a financial advantage, and
(c) keep a financial advantage that one has, whether the financial advantage is permanent or temporary.
Permanently deprive: A person obtaining property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself has, nevertheless, the intention of permanently depriving the other of it if the person’s intention is to treat the thing as his or her own to dispose of regardless of the other’s rights. A borrowing or lending of the property may amount to so treating it if, but only if, the borrowing or lending is for a period and in circumstances making it equivalent to an outright taking or disposal.
“Property belongs” to a person if:
(a) the person has possession or control of the property, or
(b) the person has a proprietary right or interest in the property (not being an equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an interest or from a constructive trust).
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.