In Canada fraud offences are categorized as either fraud under $5000 or fraud over $5000, depending on the value of the amount alleged to have been defrauded. It is considered a “property offence” and it is not uncommon for an accused person to have multiple counts of fraud alleged against them, if the conduct of the accused took place over a lengthy period of time. For example, if several individuals were defrauded amounts less than $5000, the individual would not be charged once for fraud over $5000 but several times for fraud under $5000.
Fraud is not defined in the Criminal Code, but it is closely related to theft. The difference between fraud and theft is that fraud requires an element of deceit or false representation.
Fraud under $5000 is generally considered to be a lower scale offence and may be charged as a summary or indictable offence. If prosecuted as an indictable offence, a conviction carries a 2 year maximum term of imprisonment. Typically, small amounts of fraud will be dealt with summarily.
Fraud over $5000 is considered to be a serious offence. It is an indictable offence that is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 14 years.
Charges of fraud are considered very serious. It is a crime of dishonesty that may impact one’s ability to obtain gainful employment, ability to travel, immigration status and personal life. As such, it is important to speak to a qualified legal professional and understand your options.
If you or someone you know has been charged with fraud, contact Sack (Q.C.) and Bogle Law today for assistance.