If you are charged with an offence of this kind, you should obtain legal advice immediately. There are a number of possible provisions under which charges may be laid, each with different elements, penalties and procedures. Contact us for a free initial consultation.
Offences that involve fraud are very common. The general fraud offence is set out in Section 192E of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The Prosecution must show that the accused:
- By any deception, dishonestly:
- obtained property belonging to another; or
- obtained any financial advantage; or
- caused any financial disadvantage; and
- The accused intended to deceive or was reckless about the deception.
The maximum penalty is imprisonment for 10 years if prosecuted on indictment, 2 years or 100 penalty units if prosecuted summarily.
The concept of fraud appears in a great number of other offences. For example:
- Crimes Act 1900 (NSW):
- Section 192F – Intention to defraud by destroying or concealing accounting records – maximum penalty 5 years imprisonment.
- Section 192G – Intention to defraud by false or misleading statement – maximum penalty 5 years imprisonment.
- Police Integrity Commission Act 1996 (NSW): Section 111 – Practise fraud on witness before commission – maximum penalty 200 penalty units and/or imprisonment for 5 years.
- Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW): Section 148 – Procuring or hiring of motor vehicle or trailer by fraud or misrepresentation – maximum penalty 20 penalty units.
The elements of these offences vary according to the charge and circumstances of the case. As such, it is important to obtain legal advice specific to a particular charge.
Goods in Custody
Section 527C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out four separate offences, which are together known as “Goods in Custody” offences.
Although each offence has different elements, a goods in custody charge typically requires the prosecution to establish that:
- There is property or a ‘thing’; and
- The accused had the property or thing in their custody; and
- The accused reasonably suspected the goods were stolen or unlawfully obtained.
The maximum penalty in the case that the thing is a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part, or a vessel or a vessel part, is imprisonment for 1 year and/or a fine of 10 penalty units. The maximum penalty in the case of any other thing is imprisonment for 6 months and/or a fine of 5 penalty units.
The offence of receiving stolen goods is set out in a number of sections of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). The principal offence is set out in Section 188. The elements of that offence are:
- The accused receives, or disposes of, or attempts to dispose of, any property; and
- The stealing of that property amounts to a serious indictable offence; and
- The accused knew that property was stolen.
The maximum penalty in the case that the property is a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part, or a vessel or a vessel part, is imprisonment for 12 years. The maximum penalty in the case of any other property is imprisonment for 10 years.
As such, it is important to obtain legal advice to maximise your chances of a good outcome at Court.
If you are seeking legal advice, contact us for a free initial consultation.