Fraud & Theft Archives - LCP Criminal Lawyers

Category Archives: Fraud & Theft

SHOPLIFTING/THEFT UNDER $5000 IN ONTARIO

Shoplifting, also known as “boosting” or taking a “five-finger discount” may sound less serious than robbery or theft, but it can have very serious consequences, including jail time and a criminal record. Taking goods from a store without paying is stealing. Because shoplifting usually involves surreptitiously placing smaller items in pockets, under clothes, or in a bag, the stolen goods tend to be worth less than $5000. In Ontario, this is referred to as the offence of “theft under” – because the goods taken are worth an amount “under” $5000.

The prosecution can proceed “by indictment” or “summarily”. Proceeding “by indictment” means the matter will be treated as an indictable offence, i.e. a more serious matter with a maximum punishment of two years in jail. If the prosecution proceeds “summarily”, the charge will be treated as a summary offence for which the maximum punishment is 6 months in jail and a $5000 fine.

In many circumstances, statements made by a person caught shoplifting can potentially be used as evidence when later proving the offence of theft under. If you have been detained by a store security guard or the police, it is important to provide no answer to their questions until speaking with a criminal defence lawyer. When under-age children are detained for shoplifting, they will be provided an opportunity to contact their parents, and they have the right to have their parents present while being questioned by the police. If you are a parent and your child contacts you because he or she has been arrested for shoplifting, tell your child to wait until you can be present for any statements and speak to a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.

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White Collar Crime

The phrase “white-collar crime” has become more and more prominent since Edwin Sutherland first
used it in a speech delivered to the American Sociological Association in 1939. Sutherland was referring to financially motivated, non-violent crimes. These offences were often committed by people of high social status, such as business and government professionals. The causes of these crimes differed from more traditional criminal offences, which Sutherland classified as blue collar crime.

Famous white-collar crimes include the scheme invented by Charles Ponzi in the 1920s, which afterwards was named after him and became known as a “Ponzi” scheme. Ponzi used funds from investors to pay off returns for earlier investors, and he made a tidy profit in the process. He was eventually caught and served 14 years in prison. Almost a century later, Bernie Madoff was caught and punished for doing the same thing. In the 1990s and early 2000s, Kenneth Lay and other Enron executives committed a huge number of white-collar crimes, and investors lost huge sums of money.

Lay passed away before he could be convicted. The most common white-collar crime is fraud. The punishment for a large-scale fraud can be significant. The financial punishment meted out by a court, whether a fine or a restitution order, can be crippling. If you are charged with a white-collar crime, it is important to hire the right attorney who understands and can navigate complicated financial transactions. If you require assistance with a financial crime or any other white-collar offence, contact Lockyer Campbell Posner.

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The Importance of Hiring the Best Robbery Criminal Lawyer in the GTA

Last Week police arrested two men after a series of armed robberies in Toronto and Brampton this summer. Multiple retail and financial businesses were robbed at gunpoint, and one of them, according to police sources, occurred on TTC property. The weapon, a replica gun, as well as masks were recovered by police during the investigation.

Earlier this summer, police were investigating another robbery on TTC property, which was caught on video. In the video, a woman can be seen chasing another woman through a subway car and, subsequently, fighting over a cellphone.

Our office often receives phone calls from people who have been arrested and charged with robbery, which is a serious violent crime offence. Robbery is defined in s. 343 of the Criminal Code as follows:

Every one commits robbery who

(a) steals, and for the purpose of extorting whatever is stolen or to
prevent or overcome resistance to the stealing, uses violence or threats of
violence to a person or property;
(b) steals from any person and, at the time he steals or immediately
before or immediately thereafter, wounds, beats, strikes or uses any
personal violence to that person;
(c) assaults any person with intent to steal from him; or
(d) steals from any person while armed with an offensive weapon
or imitation thereof.

Pursuant to s. 344(1) of the Code, the maximum penalty for robbery is life imprisonment. There are minimum punishments prescribed where certain conditions are met. For instance, there is a minimum sentence of four years imprisonment if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence. Bodily harm is not a prerequisite to the offence, but punishments are more severe depending on whether there is physical injury (yes or not) to the victim. These harsh penalties make it imperative that you hire a first-rate criminal defense lawyer to defend such charges. Your liberty could depend on it.

We constantly get the question, “Who are the top 10 best Toronto’s Criminal Lawyers for robbery cases?” The right lawyer is the one who knows the law and will use every available resource to raise a reasonable doubt and secure a “not guilty” verdict. Many robbery cases turn on eyewitness identification evidence, which is notoriously unreliable and the source of countless miscarriages of justice. Our office has been successful at overturning many wrongful convictions in the past and we continue those efforts today.

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Fraud or Theft Charges? Call for a Free Consultation

Fraud charges vary greatly and can include asset misappropriation, insurance or medical billing fraud, and bank fraud. With the rise of online shopping, a common fraud offence is using a stolen or fake credit card to buy something online. In such cases, fraud is often laid together with theft charges.

Section 380(1) of the Criminal Code defines the offence of fraud as using deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence, to defraud the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service.

To be found guilty, the Crown must prove that you had the intent to defraud. However, an honest belief that you were entitled to the property in question does not negate the subjective knowledge required to prove the offence.

If this is your first-time offence, it is important to understand the possible consequences. If you are facing a fraud under $5,000 charge, the Crown has the option of pursuing the matter as an indictable or summary offence. If the Crown proceeds by indictment, the maximum penalty is imprisonment of two years. If the Crown proceeds summarily, the penalty can be a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both. Alternatively, if you are facing a fraud over $5,000 charge, the offence is indictable and the maximum penalty is fourteen years imprisonment.

The punishment for theft under $5,000 varies as it is also a hybrid offence. The Crown has the option of proceeding summarily, which can result in a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both, or by indictment, which can result in imprisonment of up to two years.

While the consequences can be serious, many charges of theft and fraud under are eligible for diversion. Diversion allows for the charges to be withdrawn following the completion of programs that can involve community service and donations to charity. It is important to remember that pleading guilty to a fraud of theft charge will result in a criminal record and may profoundly impact your immigration status, ability to travel and relationship with your employer. If you have been arrested and charged with fraud, theft, or both, Lockyer Campbell Posner’s expertise can assist you.

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