Fraud Offences

What To Do When Charged With A Fraud Offence

You can be charged with fraud if you do something dishonest with the intention of gaining a benefit for yourself. Tricking someone into giving you their money, using someone else’s credit or bank card without their permission or lying to Centrelink in order to be eligible for payments you otherwise would not be eligible for are all examples of fraud.

Depending on the value of the fraud, your matter can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or the District Court. Different types of fraud come with different maximum penalties. For serious fraud offences, the maximum penalty can include imprisonment.

We can advise you about the charge itself, the defences open to you, penalty options, and the court procedures for pleas of guilty and pleas of not guilty.

Common types of fraud offences include:

  • Gains benefit by fraud
  • Causing a detriment to another by fraud
  • Centrelink fraud (a Commonwealth offence)

You should speak to your criminal lawyer about your case, and obtain some advice specific to your charge.

The police want to speak to me about a fraud offence. Do I have to speak to them?

Please click here to read about your rights when speaking to and being questioned by police.

What are the penalties for fraud?

The penalty for fraud varies on the value of the fraud, and who was defrauded.

For example, in most cases of fraud where the value is under $50,000, the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and a $24,000 fine, whilst for fraud where the value is over $50,000, the maximum penalty is 7 years.

For more serious types of fraud, the maximum penalty is higher. For example, if the person who was defrauded was over 60 years of age, and where the value is over $50,000, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment.

You should speak to your criminal lawyer about the maximum penalty available for your particular charge.

What will happen in court?

Read more about what happens when going to court in WA.

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