Calgary Fraud Defence Lawyer
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, fraud and financial theft are two closely related criminal economic offences. Theft involves the taking of another individual’s property without lawful basis and converting to your own or someone else’s use. Fraud also involves the taking of another individual’s property. However, it must be done in a manner that is both deceptive and dishonest and from which the perpetrator gains financially. This requirement of deception and dishonesty is the difference between the two offences.
Similar to financial theft, the property that is taken in a fraudulent offence can be either physical property or it can consist of funds and money. Under both offences, the motivation is quick financial gain with a low risk of discovery and subsequent arrest.
At the Yoav Niv law firm, we know that if an individual is charged with fraud or is under investigation for fraud, there will be immediate consequences to their lives, with the bigger the level of the alleged fraud, the more severe the anticipated consequences. An individual charged with fraud will certainly suffer damage to his or her professional reputation, with the very real probability of the loss of a job and the prohibition of engaging in any further financial transactions until the resolution of the case. In addition, banks will routinely close the bank accounts of alleged fraudsters to avoid legal risks and liabilities. Our law firm is very sensitive to these possibilities and will promptly investigate the details of your case so that we can begin to craft the most focused defence on your behalf.
Our firm is experienced and has handled a wide variety of fraud cases, ranging from simple to complex. We have a proven record of success in handling such cases, utilizing our sophisticated knowledge of the financial sector and criminal law.
This knowledge is especially necessary in complex cases of alleged fraud where we may have to review thousands of detailed financial documents and statements. In the most complex cases, it may be necessary for us to retain a forensic accountant to provide an additional layer of expertise.
If we believe it will be to your benefit, we will negotiate with the Crown to see if the fraud charges can be downgraded. If your matter ultimately goes to trial, we will use our legal talents to zealously defend your rights by requiring the Crown to prove each element of the offence for which you have been charged. If we can show that the Crown has failed to meet its burdens of proof, the fraud charges against you will be dismissed.
What is Fraud?
An individual committing fraud achieve financial gain through deception and dishonesty. In our increasingly computerized and digitalized society, all types of fraud have become more prevalent and easier to commit. Fraud is one of the most sophisticated and complex crimes and is always highly detailed and fact-intensive. Defending a client accused of fraud presents many challenges for a defence attorney and requires hard work, intensive investigation, and thorough case preparation. Our firm possesses these capabilities.
Examples of Fraud Charges
A few of the more common of the many types of fraud include:
- Bank fraud
- Credit card fraud
- Identity fraud
- Corporate fraud
- Elder fraud
- Securities fraud
- Insurance fraud
- Telemarketing fraud
- Health care fraud
Penalties for Fraud in Calgary
The penalties for a fraud conviction can be significant, with the distinct possibility of incarceration, a large monetary fine, and, where applicable, the loss of a professional license. If fraud occurs in the financial services sector, there is a strong possibility of a lengthy expulsion from the industry. The larger the fraud, the more severe the punishment.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, fraud is a property offence. It is generally categorized in one of two ways – fraud in an amount under $5,000 or over $5,000. In determining under which category the offence falls, the Crown will measure the fraud by its complexity and the amount or value of the fraud. The largest and most complex schemes may involve a multitude of victims and fraud, totalling millions of dollars.
The Criminal Code of Canada puts fraud perpetrated by an employee against an employer into a special sub-category. Since such offences are considered a serious breach of trust, the Crown will often seek incarceration even if the individual has no prior criminal history and the value of the theft was small.
The Crown will generally seek a lesser punishment for fraud of under $5,000 and a stricter and more severe punishment for frauds that cause over $5,000 in losses.
Since there are so many types of fraud, penalties, including fines, can vary widely. That same variance can be seen in the maximum prison sentences for these categories of fraud.
Under Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum sentence for fraud of under $5,000 is two years imprisonment.
Under the same section of the Criminal Code of Canada, the maximum penalty for a fraud of over $5,000, or one involving the alteration of a will, is fourteen years imprisonment.
Pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada, following a conviction and prior to sentencing, a court must consider a number of factors. Among them are:
- Whether the individual has a prior criminal history or is a first-time offender
- The type and nature of the fraud committed
- The size and magnitude of the fraud
- The complexity of the fraud and the amount of planning involved in its execution
- The length of time of the fraud before it was discovered
- The value of the goods and services that the offender obtained as a result of the fraud
- Whether the fraud was perpetrated during the course of employment and involved a breach of trust
A Canadian citizen convicted of fraud may be barred from entering the United States or would need a waiver to enter.
Contact Yoav Niv Today
If you live in the greater Calgary area and the Crown has charged you with fraud or is actively investigating you, you should immediately contact our firm. We have a proven record of defending clients who have been charged with any of the many types of fraud. We possess a sophisticated knowledge of the financial sector, combined with legal skills and a command of the laws regarding fraud. Our long-standing philosophy is that every client is presumed to be innocent and has a right to the best possible defence. We will work tirelessly to have the charges against you dismissed and/ or downgraded. Get the skilled counsel and sophisticated representation that you deserve and need. Contact us today for a free consultation.