Fraud- Section 192E Crimes Act 1900
A person who, by deception obtains property belonging to someone else or obtains financial advantage or causes financial disadvantage is guilty of the offence of fraud.
If your case is dealt with in the higher court, such as the District Court, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.
If your case is dealt with in the Lower Court, such as the Local Court, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.
What Do the Prosecution Need to Prove?
The prosecution must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be found ‘guilty.’
That by deception, you acted dishonestly
That you acted deceptively through words or any other conduct. This includes deceiving another person about your intentions, or using a computer, machine or electronic device to make an unauthorised transaction. An example of this is, transferring money that does not belong to you.
What is Dishonesty?
Dishonesty is to be assessed according to standards of ordinary people. Court will consider whether an ordinary person would have found your conduct dishonest, and whether you should have known that your conduct was dishonest according to the standards of an ordinary person.
That your deceptive or dishonest actions allowed you to obtain a financial advantage or another person’s property, or caused someone else to suffer a financial disadvantage
That you either obtained a financial benefit or obtained property (ownership, possession or control of the property) for yourself or for another person, or allowed the property to be kept by you when it legally belonged to someone else.
For a property to belong to someone, that person must either have possession or control of the property or legally own it, either physical property or intangible goods such as shares, debts, and electronic money.
You can also be found guilty of fraud where you cause another person to suffer a disadvantage, for example, where you cause another person to suffer a financial loss that they should not have suffered.
That your actions were either intentional or reckless
Prosecution must prove that your actions were deliberate, or that they were reckless. That you should have known that what you were doing was dishonest and deceptive but you continued to do it anyway.
Your options in Court
Pleading Not Guilty
To be found guilty of fraud under s192E, the prosecution must prove three things beyond reasonable doubt:
- That by deception, you acted dishonestly;
- That your actions allowed you to obtain a financial advantage or another person’s property, or caused someone else to suffer a financial disadvantage;
- That your actions were either intentional or reckless
Defences to this charge
Claim of right- where you honestly believed you were legally entitled to the property
Duress where you were threatened or coerced into committing the offence
Necessity- Where you committed the offence to prevent serious injury or death or another person.
Mental illness- Where you were suffering from a mental illness at the relevant time
It is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defence lawyer who will be able to advise you of your options.
If you decide or have been advised to plead guilty to fraud after receiving legal advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer, it is crucial that your case is sufficiently prepared to maximise your chances at obtaining a lenient sentence.
Utilitarian Value or 25% discount on punishment
The discount for the utilitarian value of the plea of guilty will be determined largely by the timing of your plea entered. That means, the earlier you enter a plea of guilty, the greater discount you receive on your punishment and also the type of sentence you receive.
The utilitarian value of a delayed plea is less and consequently the discount is reduced.
Types of Penalties
Types of penalties the Judge can impose on you include any one of the following:
- Section 10 Dismissal
- Conditional Release Order
- Community Corrections Order
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Full Time Imprisonment
Our expert defence team at Criminal Lawyers Sydney may be able to negotiate the police ‘facts’ to reduce the seriousness of the offence.
Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references, any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted.
These materials, together with persuasive verbal submissions by your lawyer in the courtroom, can help to ensure you receive the most lenient penalty that is possible in the circumstances.
If you have been charged with fraud, call Criminal Lawyers Sydney anytime on (02) 91528619 or on our 24-hour dedicated number 0449 593 845 to arrange a free first conference with one of our experienced fraud lawyers who will review the allegations and advise you of your options and the best way forward.