Reforms to Fraud Laws
Major reform in fraud law occurred with the introduction of the Fraud Act 2006. This means that on 15 January 2007 the old general offence of fraud was replaced by parts of the Fraud Act. The Fraud Act includes legislation in relation to these new offences:
- Making a false representation (section 2)
- Dishonestly failing to disclose information (section 3)
- Abuse of position (section 4)
- Obtaining services dishonestly (section 11)
A further offence of conspiracy to defraud still exists and being broad is often used where the Prosecution would have difficulties for technical reasons to get a conviction for one of the new offences, but the prosecution have to show that more than one person was involved.
Fraud Offences under The Theft Acts 1968 and 1978
The Theft Acts 1968 and 1978 created several offences of deception to deal with situations where something was dishonestly obtained by deception. Similarly the offences applied in situations in which liability was evaded in the same way. These offences can be considered to fall under the umbrella of the law of fraud. This is now considered old law, and can now only be used for allegations which date back before January 15th 2007.
The old offences are: (the more common offences are in bold)
- obtaining property by deception
- obtaining a money transfer by deception
- obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception
- obtaining services by deception
- procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception
- securing remission of an existing liability by deception
- inducing a creditor to wait for or forgo payment
- obtaining exemption from, or abatement of, liability to make a payment
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