The Fraud Act 2006 created three distinct offences of fraud. They are:-
- Fraud by False Representation.
- Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information.
- Fraud by Abuse of Position.
A fraud by false representation is committed when a person dishonestly makes a false representation intending to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss or expose another to risk of loss. The false representation must be untrue or misleading and the person making it must know that it is or might be untrue or misleading. A representation can be in any form and may be express or implied.
Fraud by failing to disclose information is committed if a person dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a duty to disclose, and intends thereby to make a gain for himself or another or to cause loss to another or expose another to the risk of loss.
Fraud by abuse of position is committed where a person occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not act against the financial interests of another person and he dishonestly abuses that position, and intends thereby to make a gain for himself or another or cause loss to another or expose another to the risk of loss.
All three fraud offences carry a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment on indictment.
Complex frauds are often charged as a conspiracy to defraud. To prove a conspiracy, the prosecution must prove that two or more persons formulated an intention to commit a fraud in any of the ways outlined above.
A fraud offence can be committed by an individual or a limited company. Where a limited company commits the offence, and it does so with the consent or the connivance of those involved in its management, those individuals as well as the company are also guilty of the fraud offence.
In addition to the three basic offences of fraud outlined above, the Act also creates two further offences of possession of articles for use in frauds and making or supplying articles for use in frauds. The former carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment on indictment and the latter a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment on indictment.
It should be borne in mind that not only would any defendant convicted of fraud be punished for the offence, but they are likely to be made the subject of confiscation proceedings post-conviction which can often have far reaching financial implications for them and their loved ones.
Those people or companies accused of complex fraud offences will require expert representation at the earliest possible opportunity. Freeman & Co. have a team of specialist criminal solicitors who have a extensive experience in defending fraud cases over many years. Anyone accused of fraud should contact our specialist team without delay to ensure that they get the best possible advice at the earliest possible opportunity.
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