The Crime Of Fraud

The Criminal Code defines fraud in Section 380.

There are two categories, fraud under $5000 or fraud over $5000. Fraud occurs when deceit or fraudulent means are used to deprive someone of property, money, valuable security or services. Many thefts can also be frauds and it is sometimes up to the police officer to decide to lay a fraud charge or a theft charge against the person. Consider the scenario in which a person switches price tags at a store and takes something with a lower price tag and attaches it to a more expensive item. Arguably that example is theft; but often the police will instead lay the charge of fraud. The person has not actually taken something they have not paid for but they have paid a price that was illegitimate so the fraud is the difference between the actual value and what they paid.

A key element in a criminal charge of fraud is that someone uses deceit to deliberately take away something that rightfully does not belong to him. If somebody loses money because of a negligent act or a business mistake there may well be civil remedies but it will not qualify as a criminal claim. It is important to make the distinction between a person who has been the victim of a bad investment or business deal and someone who has been intentionally defrauded of money, service or property.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Toronto,Ontario Region, contact Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman for a consultation.

This information is taken from an interview from February 29, 2008 with Ed Prutschi, Criminal Lawyer with Adler Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman, Toronto Criminal Lawyers. The article is provided as an information service only and should not be used as legal advice. Laws vary by jurisdiction so please consult with an appropriate legal professional if you are looking for help with a specific situation.