White Collar Crimes covers a variety of offenses including:
- False Pretences
- Counterfeit Money
- Falsification of Books & Records
- Real Estate Fraud
- Theft Under Power of Attorney
- Securities Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Tax Evasion.
A variety of crimes can be covered under false pretences, but the one thing they have in common is that they all involve a certain financial transaction. Generally, the accused allegedly made known a past or present fact that the accused knew to be false at the time the fact was transmitted, with the intention that the victim would be able to act on the false pretence in a way that is favorable to the accused. Generally it means that a fact may have been exaggerated or depreciated so much that it amounts to fraudulent misrepresentation of fact, and the accused obtains something for the false pretence.
The penalty, if proven guilty of false pretences, is imprisonment for up to ten years if the amount obtained exceeds $5000. Otherwise, the penalty would be a maximum of two years imprisonment, or a summary conviction. Once you are convicted of false pretenses, you also become an easier target to extradition under the Extradition Act.
Obtaining execution of valuable security by fraud is an offense where a person intends to defraud or injure another person through false pretences in order to execute, make, accept, endorse or destroy a part or the whole of a valuable security. It is also where the person writes, impresses or fixes a name or seal on any paper in order to convert it and be dealt with as valuable security. The penalty for security fraud is imprisonment of up to five years.
Anyone who buys and receives, or offers to buy or receive, counterfeit money, or has counterfeit money in possession, or introduces counterfeit money to Canada can be charged with distributing counterfeit money. The penalty for the production of counterfeit money is a maximum of fourteen years in prison.
The charge of Falsification of Books and Records happens when a person, intending to defraud others, destroys, mutilates, alters, falsifies or makes a false entry in a book, valuable security or document. It also means omitting or altering a material in that said document. The penalty is imprisonment of a maximum of five years.
If you are faced with a charge of white collar crime, we can pursue a variety if valid defences, according to your particular case and your circumstances. For example, you have the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure, as per Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You do not have to make any statements to the police, as they may use this against you. Always remember that anyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Do not simply give up and enter a guilty plea if you have been charged with a white-collar crime. The consequences may be very serious and you will be burdened with a criminal record for the rest of your life.
When consulting with a criminal lawyer, it is important to be prepared to answer a number of questions, such as the circumstances of the charges, the strength of the case and any statements that you may have released.