Fraud Sentences Could Focus on Harm

The Sentencing Council has prepared new guidelines related to the sentences for some of the financial crimes in England and Wales. According to these, the final sentences on such crimes could be based on the harm to victims.

What is considered as important nowadays is not the impact on victims but the amount of money involved in the crime.

The offenses, which the proposals cover, range from fraud and insurance scams to money laundering and bribery. Don`t forget to check our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy Template.

The council does not have any legislative power- this is a matter for Parliament. What it can do is only issue new guidelines.

In the opinion of BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman it would not be an easy task for courts to measure how harmful the crime had been to victims.

“For instance, a rogue trader who scammed a pensioner for £2,000 of roof repairs, severely damaging her confidence, would have faced a sentence ranging from a community order to 26 weeks in prison under existing guidelines,” he said.

Such rating is difficult because there are lots of cases in which victims’ loss is not that big but it has a great impact on them.

Only in 2012, the UK economy has lost £73 billion from fraud. This sum is bigger than the entire budget for state education.

Due to data of the Sentencing Council, employees and suppliers often claim false expenses which cost companies £45.5bn in 2011.

When talking about fraud we include many offences in this conception- offences like fake car crashes, complex VAT frauds and many others.

 

Written by Legal Author

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