FINANCIAL CRIMES

s. 462.31(2) Every one who commits an offence under subsection (1)

  1. is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
  2. is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorism Financing Act (“Act”) along with the Criminal Code establishes money laundering offences.

Section 462.31(1) of the Criminal Code defines laundering proceeds of crime (money laundering) as anyone who uses, transfers the possession of, sends or delivers to any person or place, transports, transmits, alters, disposes of or otherwise deals with, in any manner and by any means, any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of the commission in Canada of a designated offence; or an act or omission anywhere that, if it had occurred in Canada, would have constituted a designated offence.

As per the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, proceeds of crime are estimated at some $590 billion to $1.5 trillion (U.S.) worldwide each year.

Money laundering is usually conducted in three steps:

  1. Placement: involves placing the proceeds of crime in the financial system;
  2. Layering: involves converting the proceeds of crime into another form and creating complex layers of financial transactions to disguise the audit trail and the source and ownership of funds (e.g., the buying and selling of stocks, commodities or property); and,
  3. Integration: involves placing the laundered proceeds back in the economy under a veil of legitimacy.
    Contravention to offences and findings of guilt under the Act result in harsh punishments, including on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both; or on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $500,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years, or to both.

THEFT/FRAUD

Theft

s. 322 (1) Every one commits theft who fraudulently and without colour of right takes, or fraudulently and without colour of right converts to his use or to the use of another person, anything, whether animate or inanimate, with intent

  1. to deprive, temporarily or absolutely, the owner of it, or a person who has a special property or interest in it, of the thing or of his property or interest in it;

The act of taking a thing, whether tangible or intangible, without having the right to do so is considered theft under the Criminal Code. There are two main categories of theft, theft under $5,000 and theft over $5,000. The Criminal Code makes various distinctions between simple theft, described above, and other types of theft such as motor vehicle theft, credit card theft (including credit card fraud), theft of telecommunication service (such as cable or internet), etc. The other types of theft carry their own punishment, which is different than that of simple theft.

The maximum sentence for theft over $5,000 is 10 years imprisonment and the maximum punishment for theft under $5,000 is 2 years imprisonment.

Fraud

s. 380 (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service.

Fraud is similar to theft but requires an element of deceit. The Criminal Code defines fraud as an action by which a person defrauds the public, a company, or an individual, by way of deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, of any property, money, valuable security, or a service.

Should you be found guilty of fraud over $5,000, the maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment and for fraud under $5,000, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison. The minimum sentence is 2 years imprisonment fraud over $2,000,000.