Criminal charges of fraud are a serious matter. Aside from the potential consequences – fines, restitution, incarceration, and/or supervised release – a conviction can bring, a conviction for fraud can ruin an individual’s reputation for years to come. This can result in lost employment opportunities, ruined friendships or professional relationships, and other negative consequences that stem from being viewed as a “cheat” or “liar.” Because of this, fraud charges need to be confronted aggressively with the assistance of an experienced Vancouver criminal defense lawyer.
What Constitutes Fraud in Vancouver?
Criminal fraud is more than simply telling a lie; it is defrauding either the public or any person of property, money, a valuable service, or a valuable security by deceit, falsehood, or some other fraudulent means. Fraud is not the same thing as theft; in a case of theft, the victim does not intend to give the stolen property to the thief. Instead, the thief takes the property without the victim’s permission. By contrast, in a case of fraud, the victim does intend to give the perpetrator the victim’s property, only the victim does so based on the perpetrator’s false representations.
For example, a person who steals a purse belonging to an elderly woman has committed theft. But suppose the perpetrator strikes up a conversation with the woman, convincing her that he is a security guard and will keep her purse safe from criminals. If the woman voluntarily gives the man her purse and he later runs off with it, the man has committed an act of fraud.
But I Had a Good Reason!
People may try to justify using fraudulent or dishonest means to obtain another’s property in a variety of ways. Most of these “excuses” are not legal defenses and will not keep you from being convicted of theft. Statements that you tried to pay the victim back or that the property taken from the victim was not actually in the victim’s possession, along with other similar excuses, have been rejected by Canadian courts.
What is the Worst that Could Happen?
The total amount of property taken determines whether your sentence will be for a maximum term of 2 years imprisonment or will be for a minimum term of at least 2 years imprisonment. In addition, any fraudster who affects the public market price of stocks or goods can be sentenced up to 14 years in prison. In addition to the amount of the property and whether the victim was a private individual or a the public, the court will consider the amount of planning that went into the scheme, the total number of victims and their personal situations, and any steps you took to conceal your actions.
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Help is Available for Fraud Defendants
Being charged with fraud is serious, but you can defend yourself and your good name by hiring an experienced law firm like N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation. A conviction for fraud requires specific circumstances to be present, such as an intention to defraud the victim (in other words, you cannot accidentally defraud a person and be charged with a crime). By examining the specific facts of your case during a free consultation, Nicholas Preovolos can help you obtain a favorable outcome. Contact N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation today.