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Obtain Money By Misleading Statements

What the law says

Section 178BB of the Crimes Act states:

(1) Whosoever, with intent to obtain for himself or herself or another person any money or valuable thing or any financial advantage of any kind whatsoever, makes or publishes, or concurs in making or publishing, any statement (whether or not in writing) which he or she knows to be false or misleading in a material particular or which is false or misleading in a material particular and is made with reckless disregard as to whether it is true or is false or misleading in a material particular shall be liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

(2) For the purposes of and without limiting Part 1 A, the necessary geographical nexus exists between the State and an offence against this section if the offence is committed by a public official (within the meaning of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988) and involves public money of the State or other property held by the public official for or on behalf of the State.

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 made, published, or concurred in making or publishing.
2. An oral or written statement.
3. Which he or she knew to be false or misleading in a material particular, or which was false or misleading in a material particular and was made with reckless disregard as to whether it was true or false or misleading in a material particular.
4. It was with intent to obtain for himself or herself or another person.
5. Any money, valuable thing or financial advantage.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Obtaining money by false or misleading statement is five years imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

Where the value of the property exceeds $5000, 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.

Where the value of the property does not exceed $5000, this matter is a Table 2 offence which means that the DPP 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
3. Intoxication

 

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