Area of Law: Fraud
Answer Number: 1501
What laws apply to fraud?Region: Ontario Answer Number: 1501
Civil fraud cases involve the intentional misrepresentation or concealment of an important fact upon which the victim is meant to rely, and in fact does rely, to the harm of the victim. Proving fraud in a court of law is challenging.
Every element of fraud must be proven, such as the state of mind of both the perpetrator and the victim. In civil court, the most common remedies sought for fraud include rescission (i.e. reversal) of a fraudulently obtained agreement or transaction, a monetary award to compensate for the harm caused, and if possible, punitive damages to punish or deter the fraudster from future wrongdoing.
Under section 380 (1) of the Canadian Criminal Code, fraud is defined as:
“Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service”
The punishment ranges from a maximum of two years in prison if total value of fraud is under $5,000; to up-to 14 years in prison if the amount is over $5,000. In cases of fraud over 1 million dollars, there is a minimum sentence of two years.
Examples of criminal fraud include general offences, such as theft by false pretense, or those that are specific to particular categories of victims or misconduct, such as insurance fraud, forgery and bank fraud. The disposition ordered by a criminal court in a fraud conviction can include several forms of punishment, including: fines, imprisonment, probation, penalties and restitution.
If you discover you are a victim of fraud, it is a good idea to contact a fraud recovery expert for advice.
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