Bruce Engel of Engel and Associates criminal lawyers in Ottawa explains the increase in the severity of sentencing for fraud convictions.
Penalties for convictions for fraud are increasing in severity, especially if there are aggravating factors such as breach of trust or any kind of coercion. If the victims are particularly vulnerable such as the young or the elderly, the consequence can be jail time. Sometimes the penalty is a fine that is commensurate with the amount that was gained by the fraud; it can be more than that amount, too. There are sometimes prohibitions that deal with the problems that led to the fraud such as credit counseling and bankruptcy proceedings, or counseling for substance abuse or gambling.
I see a lot of people that are compulsive gamblers that resort to fraud, and also people with just very normal habits and families to take care of who resort to the easy way out. Years ago, you had to go out of your way to commit fraud. Now, with the Internet, a click of a button can put you in a position to commit a fraud without much effort. Because it’s so much easier, the courts are very aware of how they have to protect society from itself.
No matter what form the fraud takes, the quicker you are to resolve things, the more you try to make good, the less of a punishment you’re going to get. If you think you could be involved in fraud or false pretenses, speak to a lawyer, because sometimes you can resolve things with fewer repercussions, if you act early.
If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, .