Obtaining financial advantage by deception

There are three main elements the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt if obtaining financial advantage by deception is to be demonstrated.

Firstly, that the accused obtained a financial advantage for themselves or another. Financial advantage is undefined for these purposes; however, it implies elevation to a more favourable economic or monetary position than they were prior to committing the offence.

Secondly, it must be satisfied that the accused employed deceit when obtaining the financial advantage. Deceit, meaning they employed the deception that is common to Fraud Offences – the untrue representation about a state of affairs.

Thirdly, dishonesty is again an essential element, meaning that the accused must be aware they did not have a legal right to the financial advantage, yet they persisted in obtaining it.

An example of this offence would be if a person was purporting to raise money for a charity, but ultimately kept the proceeds for themselves. The financial advantage would be that the person would be in an elevated financial position, due to the receipt of the proceeds of the fundraiser. The deceitful element would be satisfied as the representation to donators that the money is to go to charity, when it is actually intended by the fundraiser to be kept for themselves, presents an untrue representation about a state of affairs. The dishonest element would be satisfied as the person was aware that they did not have a right to keep the proceeds of the fundraiser, yet they chose to do so, regardless.

If convicted, an individual faces the possibility of ten years imprisonment.