Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

Alberta Legal |
Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Fraud Lawyer Calgary

Facing fraud charges? Alberta Legal offers expert defence in Calgary with a focus on personalized strategies and experienced legal representation to protect your rights.

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Home Practice Areas Fraud Lawyer Calgary

If you are under investigation for fraud or suspected fraud, you need legal help – right away. An experienced Calgary fraud defence lawyer can explain the charges against you and your next legal steps. A lawyer can advise you what to do and say, tell you when to remain silent, and let the lawyer advocate for you. Fraud investigators aren’t on your side. It’s their job to gather evidence against you, and even if you believe you have nothing to hide, there’s a chance that anything you say or do can be used against you.

Don’t take a fraud charge lightly. You could face up to 14 years in prison if you’re convicted. You may also have to pay restitution. Even after you’ve paid the penalty, you may face a devastating loss of reputation among family and friends. It may be much harder to find a job, especially in areas relating to finance, accounting, or banking.

At Alberta Legal, our lawyers are experienced in handling all types of fraud charges, from wire fraud to credit card fraud and more. We keep abreast of changes in the Canada Criminal Code so that we’re aware of any changes that could impact your case. We offer skilled legal advocacy and a vigorous defence of your rights. Call us today for a confidential consultation.

Understanding Fraud Charges

Fraud can cover a wide range of activities, and while it’s similar to theft, legally, it’s not quite the same. The Criminal Code of Canada defines fraud as using deceit or false pretenses to acquire property, money, valuables, or other assets belonging to another party. Note that the other party may be a person or an entity, like a private business or bank.

Common types of fraud could include falsifying insurance records for profit or using someone else’s credit card without their permission or knowledge.

Fraud differs from theft in that a fraudulent action contains an element of deceit. For example, if I steal $500 from your wallet, that is theft. But, if I invent a charity and entice you to donate $500 to the fake charity, that is fraud. For the victim, either way, they’re out $500. However, Canadian criminal law draws a distinction between the two charges.

Some common types of fraud that are considered crimes under the Criminal Code include:

  • Identify theft
  • Using a stolen credit card
  • Pyramid or “Ponzi” schemes
  • Embezzlement
  • Tax fraud
  • Writing a bad check
  • Bank or mortgage fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Insider trading and stock manipulation
  • Insurance fraud
  • Cybercrimes
  • E-transfer scams

How severe the alleged fraud and corresponding penalties are depends on two things:

  • The value of the illegally acquired goods. The higher the amount of money or value of property obtained by deceit, the stiffer the penalties.
  • How sophisticated the fraud was. If the theft was simply taking your credit card out of your wallet without your knowledge and using it, that’s not a very sophisticated crime. However, if you work in a doctor’s office and you create false patients to bill insurance companies for extra money, that would be a more sophisticated scheme, and you may face a longer sentence.

Fraud convictions also rest on intent. If you intend to deceive someone, even if they don’t directly experience a loss, you could still face fraud charges. For example, if you made up a false charity and solicited donations, but no one gave you money, you could still be charged with fraud because you intended to deceive people to take their money.

Another factor affecting your charge (and penalty if convicted) is who you defrauded. Employees who steal or defraud their employer may face harsher penalties than someone who defrauds a private citizen. The courts view employees as being in a position of trust with their employers and that employers may be vulnerable to theft, embezzlement, or other types of fraud from their employees. Because of this vulnerability, even if the employee defrauded their employer of a low-value asset, the courts may still impose jail time.

However, some charges of fraud may stem from simple misunderstandings or a misinterpretation of the person’s actual intent. If you’re facing fraud charges, no matter how minor they may seem to you, it’s important to have a lawyer help you through the legal process and protect your rights.

Penalties for a Fraud Conviction in Canada

Fraud penalties depend on the value of the stolen property. However, the court may consider mitigating factors in your case or aggravating factors, like how many victims there were, how sophisticated the fraud was, the degree of planning required, or the extent of the impact on victims. An example of a case with several aggravating factors could be a Ponzi scheme wherein the perpetrator swindled many elderly people out of their retirement savings, leaving them destitute. The court may also consider the fraud’s effect on the Canadian economy in cases where stock manipulation or large-scale insider trading took place.

For the most part, though, sentences for fraud are as follows:

  • For property valued at less than $5,000, the penalty is up to two years in prison.
  • For property valued between $5,000 and $1 million, a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
  • For property valued at more than $1 million, the minimum sentence is two years, and the maximum sentence is 14 years in prison.

Each case is different, though, which is why having a lawyer is so important. Your lawyer may present mitigating factors when it comes to sentencing or argue for alternative punishment rather than jail.

Our Experience in Fraud Defence

Fraud convictions can have lifelong implications, and it’s important to have a criminal defence lawyer who takes your charges and your future seriously. The legal team at Alberta Legal is committed to providing personalized advocacy services for our clients. If there is any way to avoid a conviction for your fraud charges, our team will find it. We take the time to get to know you and analyze every detail of your case, looking for possible defences or mitigating factors.

Alberta Legal is dedicated to serving our clients and the legal system with the utmost commitment to professional ethics. We maintain a high reputation for our skill, knowledge, and tenacity in the courtroom.

What happens to you matters to us. From start to finish, we’re by your side, explaining each step as we go and providing personalized advice so you can make the right decisions for yourself and your future.

Comprehensive Fraud Defence Services

Our legal team completes a thorough, independent investigation into your case to gather evidence to defend you. Often, the alleged victim is the first to alert authorities of a possible fraud when they make the complaint. The authorities may investigate the complaint, which means they could be watching you and gathering evidence for an arrest. A lawyer can help you avoid doing or saying things that could make you look guilty, even if the actions may seem innocuous to you.

We believe you should know what the Crown prosecutor must prove against you for you to be found guilty of fraud.

First, the Crown must prove that you committed a deceitful or dishonest act. This may be difficult to prove because you may be the only person who knows your true intent. We could argue that the alleged victim simply misunderstood, and you had no ill or deceitful intentions towards them. For example, in a pyramid scheme, people toward the bottom may honestly believe the products or services they’re selling are legitimate or work as intended, having no idea that the people at the top created a fraudulent structure.

Next, the prosecutor must prove that you knew your actions would deprive the other person or entity monetarily. That is, you intended to take money or property from others through deceit or misrepresentation. Or the prosecutor must prove that you were willfully blind to the fact that your words or actions would deprive the other party economically. Using our pyramid scheme example, the prosecutor could argue that you turned a blind eye toward the actions of the people at the top of the pyramid and that a reasonable person would note the signs of the scheme being fraudulent.

Finally, the prosecutor must prove that the alleged victim suffered financial loss due to your actions or words.

Case Results

The Alberta Legal fraud defence lawyers have an impressive track record of helping our clients achieve the best possible outcome in criminal conviction for fraud charges and investigations. Some of our most recent victories include:

Ready to add your case to this list? Call us today!

How Our Experienced Fraud Lawyer Can Assist You

Protecting Canadians From Online Crime Act

Fraud charges are often some of the most complex criminal defence cases. The lawyers at Alberta Legal work hard to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Some of the ways that our legal team can help include:

If it’s your first offence and the amount of stolen property is relatively low, then we may ask that you be given community service and make restitution in exchange for having the charges dropped.

If we cannot secure this outcome or have your case dismissed, then the next step is usually a trial. We are familiar with the legal issues and evidentiary procedures that can come up in a fraud trial. Some of the defence strategies we employ may include:

  • Using the law to work in your favour by arguing points of law that are most favourable to your situation
  • Arguing that your rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated. Maybe you were a victim of an unreasonable search and seizure, or your rights to liberty and security were infringed on by law enforcement. If your rights were violated when the police seized evidence, like your phone or computer, paper records, or banking documents, then we may argue that this evidence should be excluded from your trial. Without this illegally seized evidence, then the Crown may not be able to prove their case.
  • Challenging witness testimony. We have the opportunity to examine any witness the Crown produces. We could question whether they actually saw or heard anything, or we may be able to impugn their testimony.
  • Disputing the facts. Was there actual fraud committed? Do the facts prove that you were deceitful, or do they show that you simply made a mistake, or there was a misunderstanding in your motive? Any fraud cases have a paper trail of evidence, which we may challenge. If the Crown doesn’t have enough evidence, then they may not be able to prove you guilty.

Unfortunately, not every fraud case results in an acquittal. If you are convicted of fraud, then we can still offer assistance in reducing your penalty. We may be able to help keep your penalties as lenient as possible by:

  • Presenting mitigating circumstances or reasons why no jail time should be required. We may argue for higher fines rather than incarceration, community service, or other non-jail penalties.
  • Arguing for a conditional discharge so that the conviction isn’t part of your criminal record. This can help you in the future if you need employment, a new bank account, or to take out a loan.
  • Petitioning for the least amount of jail time possible, if jail is unavoidable in your conviction.

Your Alberta Fraud Defence Lawyers

Have you been accused or charged with fraud and aren’t sure what to do next? The Alberta criminal system can feel overwhelming – and the judges and prosecutors are not on your side. Your fraud criminal defence lawyer is, though, and at Alberta Legal, we’re ready to take on even the toughest fraud defence cases. We offer skilled criminal defence and work diligently to help clear you of charges and restore your good name.

Fraud charges, even those that seem minor, can have life-long repercussions. Your freedom, livelihood, and reputation are at stake. Don’t try to go it alone. Contact our law firm today to speak with an experienced fraud defence lawyer in a confidential consultation.

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Client’s Experience With Our Lawyers

Our Success stories

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Liam Nelson

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Dedication, Support, Ethic, Knowledge, Experience, Sharp and Direct. All the qualities your are looking for in a lawyer, they have it all and some. But JILLIAN WILLIAMSON was my guardian angel. Being a Client, I was comfortable to blindly leave my fate in their hands. That was a real well placed investment in the future of my life. I second, promote, referred and all the synonym possible to anybody facing an up hill battle and needs the support and experience to help you go through it.

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K. V

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I am so very pleased with the work Mathew Deshaye put into my case! He genuinely is a good person, and is determined to get justice. Matthew is extremely professional and I couldn’t have been happier with having him represent me. I’m glad that I could work with him. Dina his assistant was also great with communicating back and forth with me. I made the right choice by retaining Matthew as my lawyer and I hope you do the same. I am in tears with how grateful I am. I’m so very thankful for the work and research that went into helping me with my case! Thank you! 🙂

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Jan Ciganik

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I was involved in a motor vehicle case and I knew I needed outstanding representation. Jim Lutz, Lacey and his team were nothing short of perfection. I was thoroughly impressed how he handled my case with expedited tenacity. The judicial system can be very confusing with how everything works ,but Mr. Lutz was very easy to communicate with and simplified everything. If you need a lawyer who is on the ball, Jim without a question is the person who should represent you. I highly recommend Mr. Lutz and his team! Thank you very much Sir and your team for all outstanding professional services.

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