What is fraud?
Fraud is an act or omission that is intentionally dishonest and done with the purpose of deceiving. A person committing fraud can do so knowingly or recklessly. Fraud is considered by the law to be a “dishonesty offence” and is taken very seriously.
Some common types of fraud are Centrelink fraud, Medicare fraud, Workcover fraud, TAC fraud, property fraud, accounting fraud, credit card fraud, obtaining financial advantage by deception and insurance fraud.
I have been charged with fraud, what do I do?
You have a number of options available to you if you have been charged with fraud or obtaining property or a financial advantage by deception. Before making any decision you should have a lawyer review the evidence against you. Depending on the evidence you can either:
- Plead not guilty and contest the charges in Court; or
- Plead guilty
If you have fraud charges or have been accused of fraud it is very important that you seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer for legal representation. Even if you are going to plead guilty it is most important you have legal representation to maximise the chance of obtaining the best possible outcome.
What must the prosecution prove?
To prove fraud the prosecution must establish elements such as:
- That you engaged in a deception
- That you did so dishonestly
- That you gained or attempted to gain something from or through your deception
The prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that when you committed the fraud you did so without the belief that you were legally entitled to do so. For example, a person who commits identity theft may use that identity to gain for themselves money or property to which they would otherwise not be entitled.
Other legislation makes obtaining financial advantage by deception or obtaining property by deception a crime. This type of charge is similar to fraud, and the charges can often overlap with each other.
Get in touch
Due to the complexities of this area of law and the seriousness of these charges, it is very important that you seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer to determine the strength of the case against you. Please contact us via the form on this page or by calling us.