Obtain Financial Advantage by Deception - Charges, Penalties and Sentencing

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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Obtaining Financial Advantage by Deception (Vic)


In Victoria, it is an offence to dishonestly obtain any financial advantage by deception and this offence is punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. The offence of obtaining a financial advantage by deception is contained in section 82 of the Crimes Act 1958.

What Actions Might Constitute Obtaining Financial Advantage by Deception?

A person may be charged with this offence based on allegations that they:

  • Dishonestly used a company credit card for unauthorised purposes;
  • Gave information that they knew to be false to banks in order to obtain a loan;
  • Gave someone a cheque, that they knew was valueless, to discharge a debt.

What the Police Must Prove

To convict a person of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • They obtain a financial benefit;
  • They used deceit to obtain that financial advantage;
  • They obtained the financial advantage dishonestly; and
  • Causation (the financial advantage must flow from the deception).

Deception

To satisfy the element of deception, it is enough for the prosecution to prove that the accused was reckless as to whether the representation they made was true or false.

The prosecution must also prove that the accused intended to obtain the property by making the representation and that you obtained the property as a result of the deception.

Dishonesty

Dishonesty has a special meaning in relation to this offence. It means that the accused acted without a belief in the legal right to obtain the property. While the belief does not have to be reasonable, a moral belief in the right to obtain the property is not sufficient.

Which Court will Hear an obtaining financial advantage by deception Matter?

Obtaining a financial advantage is an indictable offence that can be heard in the Magistrates’ Court if the financial advantage alleged to have been obtained does not exceed $100,000.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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