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Vancouver Employee Offences and Crimes Against Employers

Theft by an employee from an employer or fraud committed by an employee against an employer is a serious matter. Effective legal representation in such cases can mean the difference between being convicted and being acquitted or between receiving a jail sentence and serving a sentence in the community (CSO) after conviction.

This type of behaviour is often out of character for the person charged, and can be partially attributable to compelling personal problems, which a skilled Vancouver criminal defence lawyer can present to the court to justify lesser sanctions if there is no viable defence and a guilty plea is appropriate.

Crimes Against Employers

Employees are entrusted by their employers with valuable property and required to act in the their employers’ best interests. Under Section 718.2(a)(iii) of the Criminal Code, it is an “aggravating circumstance” on sentencing where there is evidence that the offender, in committing an  offence, abused a position of trust or authority in relation to the victim. It is difficult to conceive of a situation involving theft by an employee from an employer where there has not been an abuse of trust.  Jail sentences for theft from an employer or fraud against an employer are therefore not uncommon.

Laws On Crimes Against Employers

Theft from an employer is typically charged as “theft under” or “theft over” depending on the value of the property stolen. “Theft under” and “theft over” refer to the offence of theft set out in Section 334 of the Criminal Code.

Section 334 of the Criminal Code reads as follows:

334. Except where otherwise provided by law, every one who commits theft

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, where … the value of what is stolen exceeds five thousand dollars; or

(b) is guilty

(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.

Theft from an employer can also result in fraud charges if the means of committing the theft involves deception.

Section 380 of the Criminal Code sets out the general offence of fraud as follows:

380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of the Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, where … the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or

(b) is guilty

(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction, where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars.