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What Is Fraud By False Representation?

Fraud by false representation is a criminal offence which is regulated by the Fraud Act 2006. The legalisation explains three of the main ways in which the act is committed, one of them being Fraud by False representation.

This is dealt with under Section 2 of the Act

Fraud by False representation is when an individual or business:

  1. Dishonestly provides false information
  2. Acknowledges that the representation is (or could be) inaccurate or deceptive, and
  3. Does so with the intent to secure personal gain, induce a loss for another, or subject another to the risk of financial detriment.

It is important to note that the court does not focus on whether the gain or loss occurred but more so if the defendant had the intention to bring about that consequence.

Common examples of Fraud by False Representation

  • Using a credit card that does not belong to you.
  • Providing inaccurate information on an application form, such as inflating your income to obtain a mortgage.
  • Selling assets that do not exist or belong to you.
  • Claiming for expenses that never incurred.
  • Using identification that isn’t yours.

Defending allegations of Fraud by False representation

If you are invited to attend the police station for an interview, you should request for a solicitor to accompany you. You will be questioned about your actions. Responding to these questions can be challenging, as the police might withhold specific details, aiming for self-incrimination. Having a solicitor can assist you in navigating police interviews, preventing unintended harm to your case and providing you with the opportunity to put forward your defence in the first instance.

Following your interview, the police may, in some circumstances offer you a formal police caution. Alternatively, they may determine there is sufficient grounds to bring charges. This means that they will forward your case to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who can formally authorise criminal charges. This can happen while you are on police bail or after you have been released under investigation.

A hearing date will then be scheduled at a Magistrates Court. After the first hearing, some cases advance to the Crown Court, where either a trial (if a not guilty plea is entered) or a sentencing hearing (if a guilty plea is entered) will take place. If the case is less serious this can happen at the Magistrates’ Court instead.

Is Fraud by False Representation an offence that can attract a custodial sentence?

Fraud by False representation is an “either way” offence, which means if you are accused of this crime your case could be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court or Crown Court depending on the seriousness of the allegation against you.

In England and Wales, Fraud is a serious crime and if you were to be found guilty of fraud by false representation you may well face imprisonment, with a maximum sentence of 10 years alongside a fine. However, the maximum sentence is only given in the most serious of cases. Minor cases can be addressed in the magistrates’ court as a summary offense, reducing the anticipated severity of the sentencing. You can just as easily be sentenced to a community based penalty (not a prison sentence) or a suspended sentence.

If you have been accused of fraud by false representation is imperative that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible. Please make contact with us to have a no-commitment discussion with one of our criminal defence experts. Call 0808 271 9413 or request a callback. 

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