Make Dishonest Statements (NSW)
Section 192G of the New South Wales Crimes Act makes it an offence to make dishonest statements under some circumstances. This offence involves the making or publishing of dishonest statements with the intention of obtaining property belonging to another. This offence came into force on 22 February 2010 and replaces repealed offences of obtaining money by false or misleading statement (Section 178BB) and director/officer publishing false statement (Section 176). This offence is committed by a person who dishonestly makes a statement with intent to obtain a financial advantage or cause a financial disadvantage.
A person does not commit an offence by obtaining or intending to obtain property belonging to another unless the person intends to permanently deprive the other of the property.
Maximum penalty for make dishonest statements
The maximum penalty for the offence of making false or misleading statements with intent to defraud is five years imprisonment.
What the police must prove
In order for a court to find a person guilty of this offence, the following must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
- The accused did make (or publish) a statement; and
- The making (or publishing) of the statement was dishonest; and
- The accused intended to obtain property belonging to another, or to obtain a financial advantage or cause a financial disadvantage.
Dishonest 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:
- the person obtains ownership, possession or control of the property for himself or herself or for another person, or
- the person enables ownership, possession or control of the property to be retained by himself or herself or by another person, or
- 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:
- obtain a financial advantage for oneself or for another person, and
- induce a third person to do something that results in oneself or another person obtaining a financial advantage, and
- keep a financial advantage that one has, whether the financial advantage is permanent or temporary.
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:
- the person has possession or control of the property, or
- 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).
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