Fraud & White Collar Crimes Lawyers in Ottawa

Being found guilty of fraud or other so-called “white-collar crime” can have serious consequences, including  lengthy sentences of imprisonment.

However, this area of criminal law is often complex, document-intensive and confusing.

Many cases of alleged fraud arise through misunderstandings, honest mistakes, and poor investment choices.

One of our lawyers will assist you by:

  • Examining all the facts of your case
  • Reviewing documents and other evidence
  • Engaging other professionals as necessary, including investigators and forensic accountants
  • Identifying potential flaws or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
  • Representing you in court

We handle these complex cases with confidence, professionalism, and discretion.

Effective defence for fraud and “white-collar” offences

What is fraud?

The most common white-collar crime is fraud. Most such crimes involve dishonest conduct and the theft of property or money.

This is detailed in the Criminal Code of Canada, which was amended in 2011 to include mandatory minimum sentences and other stipulations for persons convicted of fraud.

The severity of the crime is determined by the value of what the victim or victims are defrauded of.

In Canada, this is divided into two categories:

  • Fraud where the value is less than $5,000 (generally a summary offence)
  • Fraud over the value of $5,000 (sometimes an indictable offence)

In each case, there may be “aggravating circumstances”, such as the level of harm caused and whether the public is targeted.

To be considered as criminal fraud, an activity must be shown to intentionally involve deceit or false representation.

Examples of other white-collar crime charges

In addition to fraud, white-collar crime may include offences such as the following:

  • Tax evasion
  • Embezzlement
  • Theft
  • Forgery
  • Marketing fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Violating intellectual property (IP) rights
  • Violation of investment treaties
  • Misrepresentation of the value of goods or services

Aggravating factors include:

  • The magnitude, complexity, duration, and degree of planning
  • Whether the offence affected the Canadian economy or the financial market
  • Whether it affected a large number of victims
  • Whether the offender exploited their high regard or reputation within the community
  • Whether the offender did not comply with regulations or professional standards
  • Whether the offender concealed or destroyed records related to the fraud

How we will defend you

We will examine the facts of your case and the evidence against you.

There are often mitigating circumstances or weaknesses in the prosecution case.

In many cases, we can present strong arguments to the Crown counsel or police agency at the investigation stage so that charges are avoided – for instance, where an activity is a civil dispute such as breach of contract.

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