Sentencing for Fraud Over $5,000 Brief

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PRECEDENT TERMS OF USE

All forms, templates and precedents, including anything found on this page, can be used without the need for any attribution when used in the course for any court filings.

Briefs

See also: Fraud (Offence)

A sentencing brief is structured as follows:

  • Overview
    • Identify the charges, including time, place and section of the code.
    • Identify the issue for sentencing
    • Outline desired result
  • Facts
    • Summary of undisputed Facts
    • Summary of anticipated disputed facts, including what witnesses will be provided
    • Enumeration of relevant exhibits
  • Positions of Parties
  • Principles of Sentencing
    • Objectives to be emphasized in Case
  • Applicable Factors
  • Prior Cases
  • Analysis / Discussion of Case
  • Ancillary Orders
    • Legal Requirements of Order
    • Interpretation of Provisions
  • Discussion of Application
  • Summary of Party's Position
    • Breakdown of the requested Sentence, including any factual
Cover of Brief

C A N A D A File# ________________
PROVINCE OF [PROVINCE]
COUNTY OF [COUNTY]

IN THE [LEVEL] COURT OF [PROVINCE]

BETWEEN:

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN

– and –

[ACCUSED NAME]




CROWN/ACCUSED SENTENCING BRIEF




[first party name]
[first party title]
[address]
[address]
[address]
[address]
Tel: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Fax: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Email: xxx@xxxxxx

Counsel for Her Majesty the Queen

[second party name]
[second party title]
[address]
[address]
[address]
[address]
Tel: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Fax: (xxx) xxx-xxxx
Email: xxx@xxxxx

Counsel for the Accused

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS(e)



Page
PART I: OVERVIEW
X
A.

X
i.

X
PART II: AGREED FACTS AND OTHER EVIDENCE
X
PART III: POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
X
PART IV: GENERAL SENTENCING PRINCIPLES
X
PART V: OBJECTIVES OF SENTENCING IN THIS CASE
X
PART VI: AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS IN THIS CASE
X
PART VI-A: JOINT RECOMMENDATIONS
X
PART VI-B: AVAILABLE DISPOSITIONS
X
PART VII: DISCUSSION ON APPROPRIATE SENTENCE
X
PART VIII: ANCILLARY ORDERS
X
PART IX: CONCLUSIONS
X
PART X: TABLE OF AUTHORITIES
X
Body of Brief
PART V: OBJECTIVES OF SENTENCING IN THIS CASE(e)

[This section will usually be customized to the particular offence]

A. Purpose of Criminalization of Conduct

B. Objectives to be Emphasized

[X] In sentencing for fraud over $5,000 it has been well established that the main objectives are denunciation and deterrence. (see R. v. Dobis, 2002 CanLII 32815 (ON CA) and R v Bogart, [2002] OJ No. 3039, 2002 CanLII 41073 (ON CA), per Laskin JA at 29, 33-36 leave ref'd, [2003] SCR vi) General deterrence has been found to have a greater impact on embezzlement-type crimes and those offences where there is planning and deliberation. (see R. v. Williams, [2007] OJ No 1604 (ONSC)) And where there is a relationship of trust he need for custody is even greater (R. v. Howe, [2002] AJ No 1443, 2002 ABCA 277 (CanLII), per Hunt JA, at para 3).

[X] Amongst the primary reasons for emphasizing any type of deterrence for major fraud is in order to ensure that the crime is simply not worth the venture. Is a gain of $20,000, $50,000, or $100,000, even temporarily, worthwhile if the consequence is only a fine? Probation? House arrest? A short jail sentence? A properly deterrent sentence must clearly communicate that the answer to all these questions is unequivocally in the negative. Should a sentence be not sufficiently punitive, regardless of the personal circumstances of the offender, it runs the risk of incidentally relaying the message to the next similarly situated person contemplating such a crime that it may just be worth it.

[X] Factored into this too is the amount of incurred profits and the likelihood of getting caught. Should the penalty for higher dollar amounts be of negligible difference from the penalty for lesser amounts, it too runs a risk that the next offender may see the commission as “in for a penny, in for a pound”, and then proceed to continue the offence once embarked upon. Likewise, an offence that is not easily detected, such as those where the commission involves obfuscation and deception, provide some incentive to the culprit that the venture is worthwhile. There is a calculation in the offender’s mind that a reduced likelihood of getting caught will have a discounting rate upon the sentence. A properly deterrent sentence must tell the culprit that even where detection and punishment may not be particularly high, the consequence of that eventuality renders the risk unacceptable, thereby deterring the commission of the offence.

[X] The justification for the emphasized objectives further extends to consideration of the inherent high degree of moral culpability in large scale commercial crime offences generally. They are often referred to as a “thinking person’s” crime, where the offence requires a multitude of repetitive and persistent decisions on the part of the accused to keep the fraud going. There must be planning to ensure that the victim is sufficiently trusting of the accused to give over their money and to ensure the scheme is not readily detected, including the fabrication of plausible lies and other smoke-screens.

i. Breach of Trust

[X] Where there is a relationship of rust he need for custody is even greater.

R v Howe, [2002] AJ No 1443, 2002 ABCA 277 (CanLII), per Hunt JA, at para 3

C. Range of Sentence

[X] Generally across Canada, the sentencing range for the offence of ... ranges anywhere between ... and ... . Our position is that the proper range for this type of offence would land in the between X and Y. When tailored to the specifics to this offender we are recommending a period of incarceration of XX.

[X] The recommended sentence presented here is in light of cases from within the province:

  • [list of cases and short summaries]

[X] There are also cases from elsewhere in Canada including the following:

  • [list of cases and short summaries]

[X] The recommended sentence presented here is in light of cases from within the province:

PART VI: AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS IN THIS CASE(e)

[X] Section 718.2 obliges the sentencing judge to increase and decrease a potential sentence on consideration of the enumerated aggravating and mitigating features that go to the gravity of the offence and degree of responsibility of the offender. The section states the following:

Other sentencing principles
718.2 A court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principles:
(a) a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offence or the offender, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing,
(i) evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, or on any other similar factor,
(ii) evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused the offender’s spouse or common-law partner,
(ii.1) evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused a person under the age of eighteen years,
(iii) evidence that the offender, in committing the offence, abused a position of trust or authority in relation to the victim,
(iii.1) evidence that the offence had a significant impact on the victim, considering their age and other personal circumstances, including their health and financial situation,
(iv) evidence that the offence was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization,
(v) evidence that the offence was a terrorism offence, or
(vi) evidence that the offence was committed while the offender was subject to a conditional sentence order made under section 742.1 or released on parole, statutory release or unescorted temporary absence under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act shall be deemed to be aggravating circumstances;
...
1995, c. 22, s. 6; 1997, c. 23, s. 17; 2000, c. 12, s. 95; 2001, c. 32, s. 44(F), c. 41, s. 20; 2005, c. 32, s. 25; 2012, c. 29, s. 2; 2015, c. 13, s. 24, c. 23, s. 16; 2017, c. 13, s. 4.

[X] Section 380.1 directs the sentencing judge to consider further circumstances for certain fraud-related offences:

Sentencing — aggravating circumstances
380.1 (1) Without limiting the generality of section 718.2, where a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in section 380, 382, 382.1 or 400, it shall consider the following as aggravating circumstances:
(a) the magnitude, complexity, duration or degree of planning of the fraud committed was significant;
(b) the offence adversely affected, or had the potential to adversely affect, the stability of the Canadian economy or financial system or any financial market in Canada or investor confidence in such a financial market;
(c) the offence involved a large number of victims;
(c.1) the offence had a significant impact on the victims given their personal circumstances including their age, health and financial situation;
(d) in committing the offence, the offender took advantage of the high regard in which the offender was held in the community;
(e) the offender did not comply with a licensing requirement, or professional standard, that is normally applicable to the activity or conduct that forms the subject-matter of the offence; and
(f) the offender concealed or destroyed records related to the fraud or to the disbursement of the proceeds of the fraud.
Aggravating circumstance — value of the fraud
(1.1) Without limiting the generality of section 718.2, when a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in section 382, 382.1 or 400, it shall also consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the value of the fraud committed exceeded one million dollars.
Non-mitigating factors
(2) When a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in section 380, 382, 382.1 or 400, it shall not consider as mitigating circumstances the offender’s employment, employment skills or status or reputation in the community if those circumstances were relevant to, contributed to, or were used in the commission of the offence.
Record of proceedings
(3) The court shall cause to be stated in the record the aggravating and mitigating circumstances it took into account when determining the sentence.
2004, c. 3, s. 3 2011, c. 6, s. 3

[X] In particular to this offence, the offence-specific factors found in s. XXX should be considered as well.

A. Gravity of Conduct

[consider the relationship of trust, the degree of physical or psychological harm]

B. Sophistication of the Offence

[X] The offence(s) in this case were [planned and continuous/spontaneous and impulsive]. ...

i. Large-scale Fraud is Not Spontaneous or Impulsive

[X] The commission of large-scale frauds is a "thinking" person's crime. That is to say that it is far from impulsive or spontaneous. It was observed in R v Tucker, [1988] N.S.J. 33 (NSCA): This is not a case involving one or two transactions but rather is one of a continued premeditated fraud perpetrated by a knowledgeable businessman and carried out over a lengthy period of time. General deterrence must be the paramount consideration because it is of the utmost importance for the public generally and the business community in particular to understand that those who practice fraud in commercial matters will be severely punished.

C. Vulnerability of Victim

i. Breach of Trust

[X] In addition to the common law, the Criminal Code codifies circumstances as aggravating under s. 718.2(a)(iii).

D. Responsibility and Moral Culpability of the Offender

E. Guilty Plea, Remorse, and Acceptance of Responsibility

F. Character and Risk to Re-Offend

G. Addiction and Mental Health

H. Prior Criminal Record and Repeat Offenders

It has been well recognized that the absence of prior record supports greater consideration of the principle of restraint. It may often mean the difference between incarceration and freedom. The circumstances of fraud will often provide some different considerations. This is for two reasons. A good reputation will often be instrumental to the offender's earning of trust that granted them access to the position that allowed them to commit the offence. The offences of fraud are not discrete one-time offences. They are persistent and repetitive. They are planned and deliberate. The reflect numerous choices to repeat and continue the criminal enterprise.

see R v Lee, 2011 NSPC 81 at paras 40 to 41

I. Effect on Employment, Family and Immigration

J. Prospects of Rehabilitation

K. Totality

L. Remand Credit

Table of Authorities

PART X: TABLE OF AUTHORITIES(e)



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