Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

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The Harder You Work the Harder is it Surrender –  Fraud Charges Withdrawn

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I recently represented a young man charged with fraud over $5000. My client applied for and obtained a job as a personal assistant. He communicated with his boss primarily through email. As part of his duties, he needed to print cheques and send them to individuals. Another part of his job was to deposit cheques and transfer money. His boss worked primarily in the United States and money management was a large part of the function of this “company”.

My client is young – 20 years old. He is also an immigrant to Canada. His knowledge of how our financial system and law is minimal at best. One of the individuals that received a cheque tried to deposit it but the cheque was returned as insufficient funds after a period of time. In the interim, my client received money and transferred it to his boss as he was required to do per his responsibilities. Of course, this incident triggered a banking investigation and eventually resulted in criminal fraud charges being laid against my client.

What is Fraud and Why was My Client Innocent?

The typical definition of fraud is explained as “to defraud is to deprive by deceit: it is by deceit to induce a man to act to his injury. More tersely it may be put, that to deceive is by falsehood to induce a state of mind; to defraud is to deceit to induce a course of action.” London & Glob Finance Corp. Ltd. (Re) 1 Ch. 728 at pp. 732-3.

One of the essential elements is the intent to deceive and with that intent it requires a course of action. Here the prosecution had the cancelled cheque, the statements and documents from the bank as well as the individual who was deprived of money. However, what they lacked was the necessary proof of my client’s intent

Fraud charges are complex due to their very nature. The disclosure (police information package) is usually voluminous. It is absolutely necessary to be able to review the information and cross-reference it against all other known facts. Furthermore, there are Production Orders and Informations to Obtain that must be analyzed critically. Needless to say, it takes hours and hours to review the material and to develop a defence. It takes work and that’s why “the harder you work the harder it is to surrender” Vince Lombardi. Law is both a shield. My job was to protect my client by using the law to shield him from further legal actions by the state. Law is a sword. My job is to fight for my client by using the law against the state. That is exactly what happened in this case. By compiling a large volume of jurisprudence (case law) I was able to convince the prosecution that there was no proof of my client’s mens rea or proof that my client actually intended deceit.

This case demonstrates that law is work. The harder we work for you the better your chances will be at achieving your desired outcome. Here, my client wanted the charges dropped and that is what happened. Sometimes we win the fight prior to court and sometimes we have to win in court. A word of caution however: losses happen. No lawyer wants to lose the battle in court. What matters if or when a loss happens is how your lawyer handles it. We must still fight for you even after a loss. We don’t roll over and give up. Skilled and experienced athletes don’t give up either. You continue to fight all the way until the end.

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When you’re facing possible jail time over a fraud charge, it’s important to find the right defence lawyer. Our defence lawyers team can help make sure you are well represented, and your rights are being protected.

We will advocate in your best interest to make sure you aren’t unjustly charged.

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