Fraud matters typically involve a level of deception or dishonest means to obtain a benefit at another person’s expense. With the increased development and use of technology within the community, fraud has virtually no boundary or border – it need not be committed in person. It is a very specialised area of crime.
As former prosecutors, Josh and James are well aware of the police methodologies used when investigating these types of crimes. They can identify the strengths and weaknesses in a case that many cannot. This is because they have extensive experience investigating and prosecuting matters of this type. Don’t underestimate this advantage if you are charged with a fraud related offence.
What are examples of fraud cases?
A very basic example of a fraud offence is to use someone else’s credit card to ‘tap and go’ at the checkout. Then there are the more complex matters such as defrauding banks and other authorised deposit taking institutions by the use of skimming devices on ATM’s or the unauthorised transferring of funds by an employee.
In addition, the ability to replicate or copy identification documents such as passports and licences has made it significantly easier for people to commit fraud using a false identity or by forging a document or a signature.
Due to the complicated means of putting together a brief of evidence, it is sometimes difficult for the prosecution to prove their case. This is where Josh and James could be of particular importance should they be representing you as a client. They have an intricate knowledge of the law and can put the prosecution to proof if required.
How does a fraud charge stand in respect of applying for bail?
Obtaining bail on a fraud charge might be problematic if it is considered there is a risk of flight through the use of false identification or unrecovered money from the alleged fraud offence. Josh and James are well versed in appearing in bail/release applications. They should be contacted to appear for you should you be seeking release on bail for a charge of fraud. They can help with taking the stress out of your appearance at Court.
How are matters sentenced?
Penalties for fraud are both significant and substantial and require the sentencing Judge or Magistrate to include a sentence that involves general deterrence. In short,to ‘deter’ someone means to send a clear to others in the community (as well as the specific offender) that committing offences of this type is not acceptable behaviour. Deterrence in sentencing is usually achieved by the imposition of tough penalties which represent the seriousness of the offending conduct.For fraud offences, this is often achieved by imposing a prison sentence.
What do the courts consider when sentencing?
The courts consider a number of factors for a particular offence. They include:
- The amount of money which caused a financial advantage or disadvantage.
- The length of time over which the offences are committed. This is relevant to show the degree of planning and preparation. It also shows whether the act to defraud was impulsive or premeditated.
- Any motivation for the criminal conduct. The Court will be extremely interested in why the offender acted in this particular way. By way of example, a relevant consideration would be whether the offender was motivated by greed, or whether the offender acted in the way described because of pressing financial commitments such as a medical emergency.
- The degree of planning and sophistication. If the offence was part of a planned or organised activity. This is an aggravating factor that is taken into account under s21A(2)(n) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
- An accompanying breach of trust. A breach of trust typically refers to a situation where the victim of the offence has imposed that trust, such as an employer defrauded by an employee. A breach of trust is considered an aggravating factor to be taken into account under s 21A(2)(k) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
Why choose McKenzie McLaughlin?
After working as a senior prosecutor for many years, but before establishing McKenzie McLaughlin Law, Josh McKenzie was an experienced criminal investigator in a large detectives office in Sydney. As such, he is well versed in the police techniques involved in investigating complex fraud matters. He knows the difficulties police face in prosecuting a fraud matter at court and can help you defend a fraud matter where appropriate. If the matter is instead to proceed to sentence, he will appear and make submissions on point to try and get you the best result.
James McLoughlin has appeared in many serious fraud matters as a police prosecutor and also experienced solicitor for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Josh and James have vast experience in fraud cases, which increasingly have an international component. Josh and James have expert knowledge regarding the operation of agencies that investigate these types fraud, particularly where there has been an Australian connection.
In cases of this kind, having the highest quality of legal assistance is crucial. Call McKenzie and McLoughlin now to discuss legal representation.