What does employee fraud entail in Canada?
In Canada, fraud is a violation of the Criminal Code. It refers to any case where an individual has sought to defraud a person or organization by using deceit, falsehood or similar methods. This can include accepting bribes or kickbacks as well as data fraud if you take digital information from your employer.
Digital fraud has become a common concern for employers. This means that if you are caught taking any company information, trade secrets, client contacts or related information from a company you can be charged with fraud.
As businesses try and crack down on this problem you should assume that any emails, social media or other online business accounts may be tracked and monitored. This is fully legal in Canada.
Despite the belief that data theft is untraceable, that is not the case. Computer experts are able to discover what information has been transferred to another device from any employees’ computer.
If convicted, it is very likely you will face jail time. How much time is served depends on the number of counts involved and how much money was taken. If you have been found guilty of fraud over $5,000 you could spend as much as 14 years in jail.
For those who defraud an employer the court may look on your case more harshly because of the trust relationship that was shared.
A judge may also look at aggravating factors when sentencing, these can include whether the crime was motivated by a bias or prejudice, the impact on the victim, whether the perpetrator was part of a larger criminal organization or if the incident was terrorism related, among other factors.
However, a judge may also consider mitigating factors in the case that would work to the benefit of the convicted. These can include any acts of compensation that the defendant has made, any emotional or financial consequences on the accused, and whether it is the first offence, among other factors.
In most cases a plea deal can be arranged with the prosecution to avoid a trial. This means the defendant will agree to a guilty plea and garner reduced charges or sentence.
Being convicted of fraud will mean you have a criminal record. If any potential employer does a background check on you in the future finding your criminal record may cost you that job offer.
A criminal record also hinders your travel plans, as many countries will not permit someone with a criminal record to enter.
If you have been charged with fraud put our legal experts to work for you. We have ample experience dealing with employee/employer fraud cases.