INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
380(1.1) Without limiting the generality of section 718.2, when a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in section 382, 382.1 or 400, it shall also consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the value of the fraud committed exceeded one million dollars.
Section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada relates to the sentencing of individuals who have committed fraud. It states that when a court is imposing a sentence for an offence under sections 382, 382.1 or 400 of the Criminal Code, it must also consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the value of the fraud committed exceeded one million dollars. This section was added to the Criminal Code in response to the fact that fraud offences involving large sums of money have significant social and economic consequences, and often cause harm to vulnerable victims. The purpose of this section is to ensure that sentences for large-scale fraud offences are proportionate to the harm caused. The section emphasizes that courts must consider the seriousness of the offence in light of the value of the fraud committed. By doing so, the section ensures that large-scale fraudsters, who may cause significant harm to individuals and the economy, are punished accordingly. This section is also significant in providing guidance to judges on the factors they must consider when imposing sentences for fraud offences. It states that the value of the fraud committed must be viewed as an aggravating circumstance, and that this factor must be taken into account when determining the appropriate sentence. This requirement ensures that judges are consistent in their approach to sentencing and are mindful of the serious impact that large-scale fraud can have. Overall, section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that helps to ensure that individuals who commit large-scale fraud offences are held accountable for their actions. By emphasizing the seriousness of such offences and providing guidance on how to sentence offenders, the section helps to maintain the integrity of the justice system and promote public trust in it.
Section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides for an aggravating circumstance when a court imposes a sentence for an offence related to fraud. This aggravating circumstance applies in cases where the value of the fraud committed exceeds one million dollars. In other words, it mandates that courts consider the significant impact that high-value fraud has on society when deciding a sentence for the convicted offender. The language of the section is broad and inclusive. It is not limited to a specific type of fraud offense or a particular method of committing fraud. This means that it applies to all types of fraud, including securities fraud, embezzlement, and cheating at cards. Moreover, the section is not limited to fraudulent schemes committed against a particular group of individuals, such as vulnerable people. The value of fraud committed is the determining factor in applying the section. The purpose of this section is to recognize the severe societal harm caused by high-value fraud. Fraud at this level can cause significant financial losses to individuals, businesses, and governments. The section acknowledges that the effect of fraud is not limited to the immediate victims of the fraud. Fraud can cause systemic harm and erode public trust in institutions, which has negative consequences for the functioning of society. The significance of this section is emphasized by the fact that it is contained in a part of the Criminal Code that is concerned with sentencing. This means that it does not define a new criminal offense. Instead, it directs courts to consider the value of the fraud committed as an aggravating factor when determining the sentence for the convicted offender. This signifies the importance of holding offenders accountable for the harm they have caused, while also recognizing the broader societal impact of fraud committed at a high value. This section of the Criminal Code of Canada reflects broader trends in Canadian sentencing law. Canadian courts embrace the concept of proportionality, which means that the gravity of the offense committed should correspond to the severity of the sentence imposed. The inclusion of this section forms part of this approach by ensuring that the sentence corresponds to the seriousness of the offense. Overall, section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial tool in combating high-value fraud. By recognizing the broader societal impact of fraud committed at this level, it ensures that the sentence corresponds to the gravity of the offense. This ensures that the broader harm caused by fraud is accounted for and that the offenders are held accountable for their actions.
Section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada mandates that when a court imposes a sentence for a fraud offence prescribed under sections 382, 382.1, or 400, it must consider as an aggravating circumstance the fact that the value of the fraud exceeded one million dollars. This provision implies that the court must impose a harsher sentence for such an offence than it would for a case where the value of the fraud was below one million dollars. This section of the Criminal Code creates various strategic considerations for both the prosecution and defence lawyers as well as for the accused. For defence counsel, it is crucial to scrutinize the value of the alleged fraud. They should argue that the value of the fraud is below one million dollars or that the prosecution has failed to provide convincing evidence that the value of the fraud has exceeded one million dollars. Challenging the valuation of the alleged fraud can be a key strategy that could result in a lesser punishment for the accused. On the prosecution side, it is essential to marshal convincing evidence that proves that the accused committed a fraud exceeding one million dollars. They should ensure that the determination of the valuation of the fraud is done meticulously and accurately. Prosecutors should also be vigilant to counter any arguments presented by the accused regarding the valuation of the alleged fraud. In the cases where the value of the fraud is above one million dollars, the court must consider the offence as an aggravating circumstance. In such cases, the court will impose a harsher punishment compared to situations where the value of the fraud was below one million dollars. Therefore, defence counsel will need to craft their arguments to account for the punitive effect of this provision, while prosecutors will use it as a tool for securing a more severe sentence. Another critical strategy is to advise clients who have been accused of fraud consisting of high monetary values to enter into plea agreements. The agreements will include lesser penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. In such instances, the parties can agree to an appropriate sentence once they have a clearer understanding of the extent of the fraud committed. In summary, section 380.1(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada creates various strategic considerations for all parties involved in an alleged fraud case. Defence and prosecution counsel and the accused must closely evaluate the valuation of the alleged fraud and develop suitable strategic approaches to protect the rights and interests of their clients. The provision mandates a harsher sentence when the value of the fraud exceeds one million dollars, and so it is essential to consider plea agreements when necessary and appropriate.