What Is Fraud and How Can You Be Convicted of Fraud?

“I do not understand what I am supposed to have done wrong. Why are they saying I am a fraudster? I have done nothing wrong.”

Fraud allegations are the most difficult, complex and time-consuming cases to defend.

Not properly understanding why the police and prosecution are looking to prosecute you and put you through possibly the worst period of your life, is the most common experience we have when meeting clients who seek our professional help to successfully defending such allegations. Once you have an understanding of what the prosecution has to show and then prove against you before you can be charged or convicted, it becomes much easier for you to assist in successfully defending the allegations against you.

It is vitally important you have a working relationship with the legal team you instruct. You should be walking away from every conference with your legal team with a feeling you fully understand everything that is going on and you can see why the police and prosecution are accusing you of fraud. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you are in a better position to be able to provide your legal team with the answers to help them successfully defend your case. So, with this understanding, what is fraud?

To be convicted of fraud (or cheating), the Prosecution have to prove:

  • 1
    There has been dishonesty. A dishonest event has to have taken place
  • 2
    You must be a party to that dishonesty
  • 3
    Although there is no definition of what a fraud is in the Fraud Act 2006, the dishonesty in question has to consider the actual state of the accused knowledge or believe as to the facts of the case (did you make someone believe something is true that you know to be false?)
  • 4
    The Jury will be told they must consider whether the conduct you are supposed to have engaged in was honest or dishonest to the standards of the ordinary decent person

For a definitive guide to dishonesty see:

Ivey v Genting Casinos UK Ltd (trading as Crockfords Club) [2017] UKSC 67; [2018] 1 Cr. App. R. 12: Barton [2020] EWCA Crim 575; [2020] 2 Cr. App. R. 7