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The charge of “obtaining a benefit by deception” is commonly known as fraud.

Fraud charges can be considered as particularly serious, depending on the extent of the fraud, and how long it went on for.

It is important that you know your rights before going to court.

Your options

Plead not guilty

In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  1. A person by any deception, dishonestly,
  2. obtained property belonging to another person, or
  3. obtained any financial advantage or caused any financial disadvantage.

If the above elements can be proven beyond reasonable doubt, you will still be found not guilty if any of the following defences can be established:

The Elements of Fraud

For the prosecution to prove that you have committed this offence, they must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you acted dishonestly, and that a benefit or financial advantage was actually obtained.

Often, it can be difficult for the prosecution to prove that you were acting dishonestly, without any admission of guilt by yourself about your intentions.

Did you think that you were entitled to obtain the benefit, and acted honestly in obtaining it?

Did you obtain a benefit, but without dishonesty or deception?

There may be various ways to defend the charge.

Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.

Plead guilty

If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence. Alternatively, it may be the case that one of our experienced solicitors can negotiate with prosecutors for you to plead guilty to a less serious charge.

The offence of Fraud carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment in the Local Court and a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in the District Court. Fraud is an offence that captures a wide range of conduct. Depending on the seriousness of the offending, it may be possible for the offence to be dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.

Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are:

Our client was sentenced in the Wollongong Local Court to 7 months full time custody for a fraud. Our client had prior convictions for fraud matters, this being taken into account by Magistrate Stoddart on sentencing in the local court. Our client’s family instructed us to represent our client in the Wollongong District Court. We had the matter listed for a bail application in the District Court prior to the appeal hearing date. We managed to get an urgent bail application listed within 48 hours. Bail was granted by Judge Haesler.

The matter proceeded to severity appeal before the District Court in June 2018.

We prepared a very strong subjective case including getting psychological material and ensuring our client undertook a few financial counselling courses. which we knew would asssit in his appeal. We were able to persuade Judge Haesler on the appeal to allow the appeal and deal with the matters by way of a community service order. The jail sentenced was quashed.

Our client was involved in a car accident. Immediately are the accident our client purchased car insurance over the phone. A few hours later our client attempted to make a insurance claim for $25,000.

Our client was charged with fraud which is a serious offence that has a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

The matter proceeded to sentence at Fairfield local court and the magistrate had our client assessed for community service.

Our solicitor successfully argued that good behavior bond was most appropriated penalty given that there was extenuating circumstance such as our client being in shock after the car accident and that our clients conduct was unplanned and that the conduct fell towards the lower end of seriousness.

Our client was placed on a good behavior bond for a period of 12 months.

The client was very happy with the result, and was very fortunate not to sentenced to jail time.

Our client was charged with 5 offences of obtaining advantage by deception. It was alleged that our client had used a stolen credit card to obtain goods at four different locations.

These offences attract significant penalties including community service and imprisonment.

Our client was sentenced for magistrate Quinn at Burwood Local Court.

Our solicitor convinced the magistrate that our clients conduct was motivated by need rather than greed and should be dealt with leniently.

The court agreed and decided to imposes good behaviour bonds for each offence.

The client was pleased with the outcome and was very fortunate not to receive a heavier penalty.

Our client was charged with 5 offences of obtaining advantage by deception. It was alleged that our client had used a stolen credit card to obtain goods at four different locations.

These offences attract significant penalties including community service and imprisonment.

Our client was sentenced by Local Court Magistrate Quinn at Burwood Local Court. Our solicitor persuaded the magistrate that our client’s conduct was motivated by need rather than greed and should be dealt with leniently.

The court agreed and decided to impose a good behaviour bonds for each offence. The client was pleased with the outcome.

Our client was charged with 5 counts of obtaining a benefit by deception. The case was that our client purchased about $5000.00 worth of stolen Myer Gift cards from his friend, which turned out to be stolen gift cards.

Our client was busted by the Police in the act of purchasing iPads with those cards at Myer.

A recent university graduate and Masters of Business student, our client made a big mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life. He was a person of good character, who provided excellent references to advance his case for leniency to the court.

Our client was sentenced in the Downing Centre Local Court to 8 months imprisonment, to be served by way of Home Detention.

We appealed to the Sydney District Court, and appeared before Berman J at the severity appeal hearing.

After submissions that our client did not deserve a sentence of imprisonment, had prior good character, was young of age, good prospects of rehabilitation and a bright future, the Judge agreed and allowed our Appeal.

The appeal Judge sentenced our client to Community Service.

He was extremely pleased with the result.

Our client was a 19 year old male with aspirations of joining the NSW Police Force. Unfortunately, he had been misled by a shrewd Salesman in trying to obtain finance to purchase a car.

The salesman manipulated our client into signing something he shouldn’t have.

Our solicitor argued before Magistrate Still at Liverpool Local Court that our client was taken for a ride and that he could not become a police officer with such an offence on his record.

The Magistrate was convinced and dismissed the charge under section 10.

Our client was charged with 27 counts of obtain benefit by deception, more commonly known as fraud. This offence carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

The fraud involved taking money from his employer by issuing false receipts and using the money to fund his gambling habit. Our lawyer found him an excellent counselling service and referred our client to seek professional treatment.

Our lawyer appeared before Local Court Magistrate Goodwin at Downing Centre Local Court. Her Honour’s first question to our lawyer was, “Why shouldn’t I send your client to gaol right now?” Our lawyer made extensive submissions about the unsophisticated nature of the fraud, his efforts at rehabilitation, his low risk of re-offending which was supported by the report provided by his counsellor, his prior good character and his willingness to repay his former employer.

Her Honour ultimately dealt with the matter by way of a Section 12 suspended sentence and an order to pay compensation. The client and his family were extremely thankful that he avoided full-time custody.

Our client was a 37 year old man charged with 33 counts of ‘Obtain Benefit by Deception’ more commonly known as fraud. His employers alleged that he claimed fraudulent overtime over a period of 4 years, amounting to fraud in excess of $65 000.

In 2005, our client was convicted of 8 counts of ‘Obtain Benefit by Deception,’ for which he received 100 hours community service. It was always going to be an uphill battle to keep our client out of prison.

Over a period of almost 4 months, our lawyer negotiated with police and reduced the number of charges from 33 to 2. She then appeared before Chief Magistrate Henson and made extensive submissions that the fraud was committed out of ‘need not greed,’ that our client was facing bankruptcy and that the community would not be served by a sentence of full-time imprisonment as it would not allow our client to repay what he owed.

His Honour took the lunch time adjournment to consider non-custodial alternatives. After returning from the lunch adjournment, other solicitors at the bar table were making bets about how long our client would go to prison for.

The consensus was 12-15 months. His Honour returned to the bench and gave a lengthy judgment, specifically stating, ‘A term of imprisonment is the only option. I was impressed with the fine submissions and will do what you ask and put the matter over for a Home Detention assessment.’

Ultimately, our client was found suitable for Home Detention. He was tremendously relieved that we had kept him out of jail

Our client was a 29 year old registered nurse who had had too much to drink on a night out and used a credit card she had found in the club to purchase more alcohol. She was subsequently charged with two counts of ‘Obtain benefit by deception’.

Our lawyer successfully negotiated with police so that the second charge was withdrawn, and the facts were amended to reflect our client’s instructions.

Our lawyer appeared before Magistrate Farnan at Waverley Local Court and made strong submissions about our client’s excellent character and the detrimental effect a conviction would have on her future employment prospects.

On this occasion, Her Honour was convinced that a Section 10 bond was appropriate and our client walked out of court with her good name kept intact.