Dishonest Statements With Intent to Deceive Members (NSW)
Section 192H of the NSW Crimes Act makes officers of organisations liable for punishment where they knowingly make a dishonest statement that was intended to deceive members or creditors of the organisation about the organisation’s affairs. The section replaces the repealed offence of director/officer publishing false statement (section 176). In short, the offence is committed by an officer of an organisation who dishonestly makes a statement knowing it to be false or misleading with the intention of deceiving creditors of the organisation. It should be noted, however, that the new section requires a deception, but not an intention to gain an advantage or cause a loss.
The maximum penalty for the offence of intention to deceive members or creditors by false or misleading statement of officer of organisation is 7 years.
What the police must prove
In order for a person to be found guilty of this offence, the court must be satisfied that:
1. The accused was an officer of an organisation; and
2. The accused made (or published) a statement; and
3. The making of the statement was dishonest (as defined); and
4. That statement was knowingly false or may be false; and
5. The making (or publishing) of the statement was intended to deceive members or creditors of the organization about its affairs.
“Creditor” of an organisation includes a person who has entered into a security for the benefit of the organisation.
“Officer” of an organisation includes any member of the organisation who is concerned in its management and any person purporting to act as an officer of the organisation.
“Organisation” means any body corporate or unincorporated association.
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.
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