Fraud Lawyer Toronto - PCS LLP
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If the prosecutor accuses you of fraud, it is critical that you understand what it is and the serious consequences it can have on your life. Fraud is a common white-collar crime that ranks among the most serious financial crimes. Every year, people lose millions of dollars through fraud. The Canadian government is aggressive in prosecuting fraud cases. You need an experienced defence lawyer in Toronto to help you mitigate the serious consequences of a fraud charge.


The prosecutor can accuse you of a single or multiple counts of fraud cases. To be convicted of fraud charges under the criminal code, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. We are an award-winning legal firm with a wealth of experience in fraud cases. We take immense pride in being among the top fraud lawyers in Toronto. We can handle all types of fraud offences; our lawyers will create a defence that suits your personal circumstances. Fighting a fraud charge is a complicated process. You need a lawyer in Toronto who can fight your case or negotiate for a more lenient sentence.


Fraud is a serious crime under the criminal code that can result in significant penalties. Fraud covers a broad spectrum of behavior and actions under the Canadian criminal code. However, the one thing most fraud cases have in common is that they are prosecuted aggressively. A fraud criminal charge is not considered a victimless crime. Harsh punishment may await an individual following a fraud charge. When you are ready to restart your life and move forward, your reputation could be significantly altered.


As with any serious criminal offence, accepting a guilty plea to a fraud allegation can have serious implications. A criminal record can adversely affect your job, immigration status, image, family, or personal freedoms. A fraud charge can be particularly distressing since it counts as a crime of dishonesty.


The prosecutor has to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that fraudulent activity took place in any fraud case. Prosecutors usually rely on sophisticated paper trails and witnesses to support their case. There may be possibilities to exclude or refute such evidence at every point. A lawyer has the experience and skill to recognize these chances and exploit any lapses in the prosecutor’s case.


If you face criminal fraud charges in Toronto, you need to secure experienced legal representation immediately. You have rights. A fraud lawyer with Posner Craig Stein, LLP, can help you protect your rights and fight the charges against you.


At Posner Craig Stein, LLP, our legal team has in-depth knowledge of the Canadian legal system. We can review your situation, craft a powerful defense strategy, and even take your case to the superior court. A fraud lawyer can negotiate for a reduction of your sentence. For example, in certain cases, we can negotiate for a house arrest instead of jail time. For a confidential consultation, contact our Toronto office today. Our legal team is prepared to help you fight fraud charges.


Fraud can encompass a variety of behaviours and is considered a serious criminal charge. Generally, fraud is the intentional act of deceiving someone to gain something of value. The legal definition of fraud is outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada. It defines fraud as the willful act of obtaining property, money, or something of value by deceit, falsehoods, or other fraudulent means. Even if an individual’s actions do not result in a loss to someone, if the individual intended to defraud a person or organization, they can still face fraud charges.


Legally, fraud charges fall under two separate categories:


  • Fraud under $5,000 in value
  • Fraud over $5,000 in value


Although both categories have similar fraudulent elements, they carry different penalties, which can significantly alter an individual’s life if they’re convicted.


Fraud is becoming increasingly common in industries like banking, commerce, and real estate. However, fraud can occur in almost any sector. It can impact large companies or individuals conducting business with one another. Canadian authorities take fraud complaints seriously and will aggressively investigate fraudulent schemes. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a fraud investigation, it can upend your life and lead to significant penalties and repercussions. A Toronto fraud lawyer can help protect your rights and sort through your legal options.


There are many different types of fraud, including:


  • Tax Fraud – Tax fraud occurs when an individual or organization intentionally falsifies information on a tax return to gain a refund or tax benefit. Tax fraud may involve under reporting taxable income or under reporting workforce numbers.
  • White-Collar Fraud – White-collar fraud is a term used for fraud committed by individuals, businesses, or government officials for sheer financial gain with no threat of force or violence.
  • Insurance Fraud – Insurance fraud involves willfully making false statements or filing false claims to collect illegitimate financial benefits.
  • Investment Fraud – In investment fraud schemes, individuals will attempt to entice people into giving them money for investment purposes, often by providing false or misleading information about the viability of the commodity.
  • Ponzi Schemes – Ponzi schemes are similar to investment fraud. In a Ponzi scheme, an individual lures an investor with promises of low-risk, high-reward yields. When a person invests their money, that money “pays” previous investors, convincing them their investment is genuine. However, people at the bottom rarely see a return. Money is seldom invested, only filtered to prior investors.
  • Real Estate Fraud – Real estate fraud involves willfully misleading individuals concerning selling, purchasing, financing, or renting a home or property.
  • Mortgage Fraud – Mortgage fraud occurs when someone intentionally misrepresents themselves or their financial position to secure a mortgage or loan.
  • Loan Fraud – Using a stolen or fraudulent identity to secure a loan is one form of load fraud.
  • Romance Fraud – Romance scams have grown fairly common in our society, particularly with the rising use of social media. A user creates a fake profile with the goal of fostering a relationship with an individual, then scamming that person out of money or valuables.
  • Inheritance Fraud– It is difficult to turn down a surprise inheritance from your ‘deceased relatives.’ This is why countless individuals fall for fraudsters posing as lawyers looking for clients’ beneficiaries. Scammers posing as lawyers or estate officials can defraud grieving family members by asking for money to process an inheritance.
  • Phone Scams – Phone scams involve an individual calling other people and asking for money by impersonating officials like law enforcement. Scams also involve fraudulently claiming a person won a prize, and they need to authenticate the winner’s identity by obtaining sensitive information.
  • Mail Fraud – Scams utilizing the mail can include foreign money offers, lottery scams, and inheritance fraud.
  • Franchise Fraud – Investing in a pre-existing business is far simpler than starting one from scratch. Certain franchisors, unfortunately, take unfair advantage of franchisees and swindle them. Franchisors may misrepresent profits, unlawfully terminate franchise agreements, or falsify product information to entice new franchisees into an already developed franchise for the franchisor’s financial gain.
  • Credit or Debit Card Fraud – This form of fraud involves illegally obtaining a card or the card’s security information and using it to withdraw money or shop.
  • Charity Fraud – This fraud involves using fake or fraudulent fundraisers to bilk individuals out of money meant for charitable purposes by posing as a charitable organization.
  • Computer Fraud – The willful use of a computer to obtain unauthorized data, information, and money can be computer fraud. Through unauthorized access, you can obtain data, money, or other valuable items from an individual, organization, or government institution. A typical scenario is when a person hacks into a firm and steals cash or important data from its accounts.
  • Employer-Employee Fraud – This is fraud in the workplace perpetrated for financial gain. Methods used could be a breach of trust, trade secret theft, or paycheck theft.
  • Embezzlement – This fraud is a white-collar crime where an individual entrusted with money or assets uses these assets for unauthorized purposes. An example would be when an employee utilizes company credit cards for personal gain.
  • Insider Trading – This fraud occurs when someone uses confidential information not publicly available to make trades or investments. Insider trading is defined as trading bonds or shares (securities) of an issuer while you have substantial, private information. In simple terms, insiders (workers,  lawyers or executives) who use confidential information for personal gain from the corporation could face fraud charges. A worker buying up shares after finding out about a merger which is yet to be made public is an excellent example.
  • Advance Fee Loan Schemes – Asking individuals for an upfront payment in return for a loan or credit card, generally through phone calls or text. This is typically a deception, and if somebody believes it and pays, the fraudster will vanish with their money.
  • Breach of Trust – This fraud occurs when a person takes advantage of their position to defraud an individual to whom they own a duty of confidence.
  • Cross-Border Fraud – This fraud involves fraudulent activities that cross Canadian borders whereby the fraudster obtains money from people outside their country. A good example is a romance scam, in which the fraudster attracts ignorant victims from foreign nations and finds a means to defraud them.
  • Misappropriation of Funds – This fraud is the intentional misuse or theft of money entrusted to an individual or organization for personal gain. A misappropriation of money involves solely money and not other valuables. For instance, an accountant who transfers corporate funds to their personal bank account is guilty of misappropriating the funds.
  • Government Fraud – This significant offence involves willful attempts to defraud the government of money or assets. Swindling the government is a grave crime, and the taxpayers usually pay the price. As a result, people convicted of defrauding the government experience the full force of the law.


Fraudulent activities involving money or assets valued over $5,000 are an indictable criminal offence. Penalties can include:


  • Up to 14 years in jail


In fraud cases that exceed $1,000,000, a mandatory minimum jail sentence of two years can be imposed. A fraud conviction can also hurt your personal and professional relationships, making it much more challenging to secure work and housing after serving your sentence. The damage to your reputation can be significant. An experienced lawyer can help you fight the charges against you and advise you on your legal options.


If convicted of fraudulent activities with a monetary value of under $5,000, an individual may face penalties including:


  • Up to 2 years in jail


Fraud under $5,000 is a hybrid offence, meaning the Crown can proceed by indictment or summary conviction. As a summary conviction, fraud under $5,000 can result in a maximum of 6 months in jail and fines up to $2,000.

Non-Custodial Penalties

A fraud conviction can result in a Forfeiture Order, a Restitution Order, or a Fine In Place of Forfeiture. An additional time in prison can result if the Fine in Place of Forfeiture isn’t paid within the duration prescribed by the Court.

A Restitution Order

This is a court order that requires the defendant to compensate the victim for the loss incurred due to the fraud. In fraud cases, a Restitution Order transcends bankruptcy. The order will be in effect until paid in full and can be implemented in the same way as a civil judgment.


Therefore, if restitution is imposed, you must pay it and cannot evade it in any way. It is vital to have the right criminal defence lawyer by your side who understands the criminal process.

What is a Forfeiture Order

This is an order that requires the defendant to forfeit property or money to the crown.

A Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture

This is a court order requiring the defendant against whom a forfeiture order cannot be made to pay a fine to the crown. Usually, the fine is equivalent to the amount defrauded.

Aggravating Factors In Fraud Cases

Usually, the court that imposes a penalty for fraud must examine the following aggravating factors, according to subsection 380.1(1):


(a) The magnitude, intricacy, time frame, and level of planning involved;


(b) If the offence posed a risk to the Canadian economy, financial markets, financial system,  or investor confidence;


(c)Whether there were a significant number of victims;


(c.1) If the offence had a significant impact on the victims’ particular circumstances, such as their age, wellness, or financial condition;


(d) Whether the perpetrator took advantage of the high regard the community held him/her


(e) If the defendant failed to comply with license requirements or professional standards that would ordinarily apply to the act that culminated in the fraud


(f) Whether the defendant concealed or damaged records relevant to the fraud or the transfer of the fraud proceeds.

Other Factors Considered

Section 718.2 of the Canada Criminal Code outlines that a court must consider some principles when imposing a sentence. This includes the principle outlined in subsection 718.2(a), which states that “a sentence ought to be increased or decreased to accommodate any applicable aggravating or mitigating factors relating to the crime or the perpetrator.” There are several situations that are considered “aggravating factors.” One of these aggravating factors is defined as “evidence that the defendant, in perpetrating the offence, misused a position of authority or trust with respect to the victim” under subsection 718.2(a) (iii).


In a nutshell, the fact that the offender held a position of trust in relation to the victim is an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes. Trust can exist between an employer and employee, as well as between family or even friends.


Having a criminal record can also be an aggravating factor. A criminal record indicates that you are a repeat offender who has not benefited from the previous rehabilitation efforts. You need an experienced criminal lawyer to help you create a strong defence to fight your charges. A criminal defence lawyer has probably represented other people facing fraud charges and has a thorough understanding of Canadian criminal law. Your criminal lawyer will represent you in the Ontario Court of Justice or the Superior Court of Justice, and can appeal your case if necessary to the Superior Court of Justice or to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Factors that Cannot Qualify As Mitigating

The judge imposing a penalty for fraud shouldn’t consider the offender’s occupation, employment skills, reputation or status in society as mitigating circumstances. Whether these factors were relevant to, led to, or were employed in the perpetration of the fraud does not matter.

What if you Offer to Pay Back the Money?

In some cases, a promise to repay the money or the worth of the property (known as “restitution”) can result in a settlement with the prosecutor. The prosecutor can agree to drop your charges rather than prosecute a lengthy and complex case in court. In other circumstances, an offer to refund the money can be an issue for the court to weigh when determining the appropriate penalty.


Fraud charges are not taken lightly by the Crown. If you are facing criminal charges related to fraudulent activities, you must seek the help of a knowledgeable criminal law attorney. At Posner Craig Stein, LLP, we will work to craft a dynamic defense strategy that offers you the best opportunity of obtaining a favourable outcome for your case.


You deserve effective legal representation. To confidentially discuss your case, contact our Toronto office today. We have experience navigating complex fraud cases and will strive to help you maintain your reputation.


The sooner you hire the right professional discipline lawyer, the better your odds.

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