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Sentencing in Fraud Cases, September 2012

NCJ Number
Rowena Johns
Date Published
September 2012
46 pages
This monograph sets out the legislative framework for fraud, forgery, and identity offenses in New South Wales (NSW).
Parliament has changed the sentencing model for fraud offenses by the enactment of the Crimes Amendment (Fraud, Identity and Forgery Offenses) Act 2009. These offenses in NSW are to be prosecuted summarily unless an election is made to proceed on indictment. Early indications that lower numbers of offenders are being sentenced in the District Court than in the Local Court seem to confirm that the bulk of these offenses will be dealt with summarily, but may also reflect that major frauds often take considerable time to detect and then prosecute. This departure included dramatically reducing the number of fraud and forgery offences under the Crimes Act 1900, removing antiquated provisions, introducing new identity offenses, and using technologically-neutral language to accommodate changes in criminal methods over time. This monograph examines the reasons for the reforms, sets out the legislative framework for fraud, forgery, and identity offenses in NSW, makes comparisons with Commonwealth and interstate provisions in light of the objective of national consistency, and concludes with a discussion of the applicable sentencing principles in such cases. While this monograph focuses on criminal penalties, civil penalties may also be imposed for fraudulent conduct. Tables