In legal terms, fraud is known as an act that involves dishonestly gaining property or financial gain. As a result, crimes involving fraud can have huge negative effects on people’s lives and businesses. For this reason, the courts come down hard on them. Therefore, fraudulent crimes often receive severe penalties. 

In most cases, most fraud charges fall under the category of general fraud. The Crimes Act 1990 relates to these types of offences. 

The two main types of fraud are criminal and civil

Civil fraud is when there is an intentional misrepresentation of facts. For example, lying on your income taxes is civil fraud. Often, civil fraud is punishable by a fine or paying the owed amount to the victim.

On the other hand, criminal fraud occurs when there is theft involved. Identity theft is one example of criminal fraud. Criminal fraud is punished as a felony crime. If found guilty, you can serve jail time, probation, or pay a fine. 

A fraudulent crime involves dishonesty and someone being financially disadvantaged.

For example, all the following crimes are fraud: 

  • Identity theft,
  • Money laundering,
  • Credit card fraud, 
  • Tax evasion,
  • Insurance fraud, 
  • Phishing,
  • Insider trading,
  • Mail fraud,
  • Pyramid schemes.

However, there are many other crimes that are also fraudulent. 

Australian law takes fraud offences very seriously. Fraud crimes often result in hefty punishments. Often, a long stay in prison. In New South Wales, the Crimes Act 1900 governs fraud. Section 192E makes it an offence to dishonestly:

  • Obtain property belonging to another;
  • Obtain a financial advantage or cause a financial disadvantage.

In this context, dishonesty is determined according to the standards of ordinary people.

Fraud offences are taken very seriously.

In NSW, fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 10 years. Therefore, it is very important to seek legal aid on these matters. 

Typically, the Local Court or the District Court take cases on fraudulent crimes in New South Wales. The amount of money, or value of the property, involved decides which court hears the case.

To cause a financial disadvantage means: 

  • A person has experienced a financial loss because of another person’s actions or, 
  • To persuade a third person to do something that causes another person to experience a financial loss.  

In fraudulent crimes, deception is a word you will hear a lot. Basically, deception means any words or acts taken to be dishonest to another intentionally. Dishonesty is measured by the standards or ordinary people. In addition, the person who did the dishonest act must know that it was dishonest by the standards of ordinary people.

Obtaining property is another term related to a fraudulent crime. One ‘obtains property’ if:

  • The person obtains ownership, possession, or control of the property for themselves or a third party, 
  • Or the person enables ownership, possession, or control of the property for themselves or a third party,
  • Or the person induces a third party to act that makes them obtaining or retaining ownership of another’s property.

Our Fraud Lawyers can help you

fraud charges for crimes of dishonestyAre you facing fraud charges? Or have you been a victim of fraud?

Our experienced lawyers have years of experience in this area of law. Get in touch with us today. Call O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281 to set up a free appointment with an experienced Sydney fraud lawyer.

1. Full-service criminal defence firm 

O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors is a full-service criminal defence law firm meaning that we provide legal advice on both criminal and civil law. After the completion of your criminal case, we can continue to represent you in your civil matter (if one exists). 

In addition, we have represented many clients in their criminal matters and then proceeded to assist them in making a civil claim against the police. For instance, for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, or suing a publisher for defamation. 

2. Competitive costs 

Your first consultation with one of our criminal lawyers is free. This is your opportunity to speak to us about your case and for us to discuss with you what your options are. If you choose to proceed with our services we will provide you with a cost agreement that sets out your legal fees. O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors provides cost-effective and professional legal advice compared with other law firms. 

In some instances, we offer reduced fees or pro bono services at the discretion of our Principal. We can also assist you in applying for Legal Aid if you are eligible. Speak to us if you have concerns regarding your ability to pay your legal fees and we can discuss the possibility of accommodating your circumstances.

3. Experienced  team of lawyers

Our criminal lawyers have handled cases in courts across NSW at Local Courts, District Courts and the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal. With a wealth of experience in assisting clients with bail applications, trials, sentencing hearings, and appeals.  

Criminal Law Accredited Specialist Lawyers                                 

Our team includes Accredited Specialists in Criminal Law.

Specialist Accreditation is a structured peer to peer assessment process enabling legal practitioners to be recognised for their expertise. To be accredited specialists must pass a series of meticulous assessments on both legal knowledge and its application in practice. To retain their accreditation specialists must undertake significant additional professional development in their area of expertise each year.

4. Our trauma-informed approach to legal practise 

O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors utilises a trauma-informed lawyering approach when interacting with our clients. We understand that you have dealt with traumatic events and that engaging with authorities and courts is a stressful experience that might re-traumatise you. For this reason, we are sensitive to your mental and emotional needs and will assist you in an appropriate manner. Read more about our thoughts on trauma-informed lawyering


O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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