The Charge

Fraud is legally defined as depriving someone of their property by using deceit or dishonesty.

Frauds are divided into two categories:

  • Frauds that involve property worth more than $5000, and
  • Frauds that involve property worth less than $5000.

Common examples include:

  • one person using another person’s credit card to purchase goods without their knowledge or consent;
  • an employee submitting false timesheets;
  • the manager of a company altering a ledger to show higher profits, in order to collect a performance bonus.


Where the dollar value of the alleged fraud is high, the police or Crown may restrict your ability to travel within and outside Canada, and ask the judge to order you to surrender your passport. This is because the court may believe you have hidden the money outside Alberta, and/or are likely to flee due to the potentially high sentence.

These conditions can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your day to day life. Contact Calgary Criminal Lawyers right away if you are currently subject to these conditions, or are facing a beail eharing to determine the terms of your release. We will do everything possible to ensure your life, and especially travel plans, are disrupted to the smallest extent possible.

The Defence

We are experienced at defending allegations of fraud and embezzlement in the workplace.

If at some point during or after your employment, you believe that you are being investigated or suspected of committing workplace fraud, DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS, SUPERVISORS, OR THE POLICE. Your words can be used against you in court by the Crown Prosecutor to fill in any holes in the case against you. We have observed several instances in which the person suspected of committing a workplace fraud filled in the missing pieces in the prosecution’s case by discussing the allegations with a workplace associate, boss, or police officer.

Your boss may induce you to confess by offering to not involve the police. Our experience tells that that promise is broken all too frequently where there are large amounts of money at issue.

There is a place and time to share your side of the story. That place is not your supervisor’s office or a police interrogation room.

If you feel you are being suspected or investigated for a workplace fraud, contact us immediately. We can provide valuable advice on how to protect your legal interests and this confusing and stressful time.

Whether you are alleged to have acquired a small consumer good fraudulently under someone else’s name, or committed dozens of fraudulent transactions at your workplace totalling thousands of dollars, Calgary Criminal Lawyers can help you mount the best defence possible.

The Sentence

The punishments for fraud can be significant. Just the fact of being found guilty will have negative consequences in many areas of your life. You may have difficulty getting or keeping employment that requires employees to handle or possess money or valuable property. Your community will view you as a person less worthy of their trust.

Fraud under $5000 is subject to a maximum period of 2 years in jail, in addition to the potential for probation and/or fines of several thousand dollars.

Frauds over $5000 are punished by a maximum of fourteen years in jail, probation, and/or fines.

Your penalty will also depend on whether any of the following factors were present in your case:

  • Was there a significant degree of planning, complexity, or duration to the theft?
  • Did it involve a large number of victims?
  • Did it have a significant impact on the victims, due to their health, age, or financial circumstances?