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What Is Charity Fraud & Charges

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What Is Charity Fraud & Charges

Posted on November 19, 2020

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What Is Charity Fraud?

Charity fraud is the act of posing as a charity to get others to donate money. Alleged so-called “Fraudsters” reach out via phone, mail, email, or solicit door to door to collect donations. Charity fraud can either involve individuals falsely aligning themselves with a well-known charity, such as The Calgary Food Bank, or creating their own fake charity. Each charity fraud scam’s intricacy can vary, with some creating websites to legitimize their scam further.

Criminal Charges For Charity Fraud & Scams

Charity frauds and scams fall under fraud charges pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada and other Acts, such as the Income Tax Act. Depending on the extent and complexity of the scheme, the accused could face fines or jail time. Suppose a charity scam involves many individuals and a large amount of money. In that case, you’re likely looking at a longer and more severe punishment. The public backlash for these scams is also quite significant.

For example, in R v Kueviakoe, 2015 ONCJ 681, Ekue Kueviakoe was charged with numerous offences to the Income Tax Act because of the false tax receipts he prepared for his clients to deduct from their taxable income. He was sentenced to one year of house arrest (otherwise known as a Conditional Sentence Order “CSO”) and required to pay $70,000 in fines. A similar case involving George Nkoke Nnane resulted in three years in jail on one count of fraud.

Another example, in R v Cook, 2013 ABPC 6, Mr. Cook committed fraud when he lied about having cancer and then accepted charitable donations from various people, totaling $7,500. In considering the sentence, the Judge noted that the maximum term of imprisonment is fourteen years (14 years) in jail. The Court also stated that the fraud offence committed by Mr. Cook was grave and his moral blameworthiness was high. The court balanced all of the sentencing factors and sentenced Mr. Cook to 6 months in jail and did not allow the sentence to be served conditionally, meaning that he could not serve it in his home.

If you are currently involved in a charity fraud scam, be aware that there are serious criminal offences and charges associated with this form of fraud. Immediately contacting a criminal defence lawyer is your best course of action as charity fraud charges can be quite severe.

Our team at Ross Lutz Barristers is experienced in defending criminal fraud cases. We are serious lawyers who defend serious cases. Contact us today to see how we can defend your charges.