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Directors Cheating Or Defrauding

What the law says

Section 176A of the Crimes Act states:

Whosoever, being a director, officer, or member, of any body corporate or public company, cheats or defrauds, or does or omits to do any act with intent to cheat or defraud, the body corporate or company or any person in his or her dealings with the body corporate or company shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

1. The accused was director, officer or member of a body corporate or public company.

2. The accused either:

  • (a) cheated or defrauded;
  • (b) did an act with intent to cheat or defraud; or
  • (c) omitted to do an act with intent to cheat or defraud.

3. The act of cheating or defrauding was upon:

  • (a) the body corporate (public company); or
  • (b) any person in his or her dealings with the body corporate (public company).

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum sentence

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Directors etc cheating or defrauding is 10 years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

1. Duress
2. Necessity


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