Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation is an offence that can come with a stiff punishment. This article provides detailed guidance on the typical sentencing for this offence.

What is the sentence for Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in 2020?

Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation is an offence that falls under the Fraud Act 2006. This offence is defined as an agreement that is made between two or more persons, to take advantage of creating a misleading representation. It may expose another to loss or risk.

The offence of ‘conspiracy’ is when two or more people make an agreement or plan to commit a crime. The agreement may be expressed, assumed or implied, but the intent is there to work together to commit a crime; in this case, the crime of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Being part of any police investigation into an offence of any nature can be extremely stressful. If you are accused of being involved in a fraud case, you must take legal guidance from an experienced fraud solicitor. Taking early action to seek legal help can make all the difference with regards to securing a sentencing outcome that is as positive as possible

We’ve put together some of the typical questions that are asked by those accused of this offence. You’ll find the answers to those questions, but if you don’t see anything about what you want to know about concerning this crime, call us today on 0208 888 5225.

It’s important to note that a fraud solicitor who has expertise and experience in this field may be able to help you get a reduced sentence, or avoid the courts altogether.

More about the conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation offence

There is always more than one person involved in any conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation offence. Here are some examples of how offenders can implement this crime:

Planning to use a credit card that doesn’t belong to you to buy something online – for instance, using Amazon to purchase goods with another person’s credit card.

Plotting a sophisticated bank fraud conspiracy – an example of this might be pretending to be another person to gain access to their online bank account and stealing money.

Plotting fraud with share dealing – for instance, pretending to be somebody else to buy shares with a credit card and then selling them fraudulently.

There are many other examples, too numerous to list here. If you would like to know more about which crimes are classified as the offence of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, you can call us on 0208 888 5225 for more information. If you have been arrested or charged with this crime, we have a solicitor on hand 24 hours a day who can be reached on 07980 000 076.

What is the average sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation offences?  

A conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation case is usually heard at a Crown Court. If you are found to be guilty and convicted, you may be handed an imprisonment term of up to ten years, depending on what’s happened.

How does a court decide on the seriousness of the conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation offence for sentencing purposes?

The information that judges receive with regards to sentencing are only guidelines, and each case will be looked at individually. One of the factors judges consider in every case of this nature is the defendant’s level of genuine remorse.

The following is an excerpt taken from the website of the Sentencing Council. This information is provided as guidelines to judges on what they should consider when sentencing. However, please note that each case will be looked at individually.

The level of culpability is determined by weighing up all the factors of the case to determine the offender’s role and the extent to which the offending was planned and the sophistication with which it was carried out.

Culpability demonstrated by one or more of the following

A – High culpability

  • A leading role where offending is part of a group activity
  • Involvement of others through pressure, influence
  • Abuse of position of power or trust or responsibility
  • Sophisticated nature of offence/significant planning
  • Fraudulent activity conducted over sustained period of time
  • Large number of victims
  • Deliberately targeting victim on basis of vulnerability

B – Medium culpability

  • A significant role where offending is part of a group activity
  • Other cases that fall between categories A or C because:
    • Factors are present in A and C which balance each other out and/or
    • The offender’s culpability falls between the factors as described in A and C

C – Lesser culpability

  • Involved through coercion, intimidation or exploitation
  • Not motivated by personal gain
  • Peripheral role in organised fraud
  • Opportunistic ‘one-off’ offence; very little or no planning
  • Limited awareness or understanding of the extent of fraudulent activity

Where there are characteristics present which fall under different levels of culpability, the Court should balance these characteristics to reach a fair assessment of the offender’s culpability.

What are some of the mitigating factors that might reduce the Conspiracy to Commit Fraud by False Representation sentence?

When two or more people are planning or agreeing to defraud somebody, to deceive them or expose them to specific loss or risk, it’s considered to be very serious. In response, the Court often hands out serious prosecution to deter offenders.  The aim of the prosecutors both before and during the trial is to prove that you have acted dishonestly.

Certain aspects of a case are known as the mitigating aspects which can influence the sentence that a judge gives. In conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation cases,  they may include:

  • Your previous conviction
  • Your level of remorse
  • Your level of cooperation with the investigation
  • Whether the activity you took part in was initially legitimate
  • Your reputation / good character
  • Whether you have any severe medical conditions that require long term, urgent or intensive treatment
  • Whether you have a learning disability or a mental disorder
  • Whether you are the sole or primary carer for related dependents

Is it possible to reduce a sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation with a guilty plea?

In recent years, several changes have been made to the sentencing system in the UK to save the court time and cost and to protect witnesses from the stress of needlessly going through a trial. For offenders aged 18 and over, pleading guilty early on in a case can reduce a sentence by as much as one third (maximum). The later the plea is entered, the smaller the reduction.

‘Early on’ refers to ‘the first stage of the proceedings’ and means anytime up to and including the first hearing at the Magistrates Court or Crown Court for indictable offences.

If a plea is entered 14 days after the first hearing, for example, the maximum level of reduction is just 20% or one-fifth of the sentence. For indictable offences, the limit for a guilty plea to be made is within 28 days after the prosecutor has stated compliance with section 3 of CPIA 1996 and serving disclosure. However, the decision is ultimately in the hands of the Judge, who has the discretion to apply whatever credit is deemed appropriate.

After these times, there is a sliding scale of credit applied. This goes down to one-tenth on the first day of the trial and to zero if entered during the course of the trial. In theory, the ten per cent could be given if the plea is issued after the opening speeches on the first day, but prior to any witness evidence being heard.

If the accused does not want to plead guilty, then it’s important for the solicitor to regularly inform the Court throughout the trial of the reasons why the client’s plea is not guilty.

What are some of the other consequences of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation offence?

Ancillary Orders

A court can also make ancillary orders on a defendant if they are found guilty and convicted of an offence. These are extra elements that can be added to a sentence and include additional restrictions or requirements that affect a dependent’s finances, property or activity.

Ancillary orders that are typically added to the penalty for those who are found to be guilty of binary option fraud include:

  • Compensation for loss
  • Restraint orders
  • Reparation orders
  • Financial reporting order
  • Disqualification from directing a company
  • Confiscation orders

As part of your investigation, you may also have your assets frozen with the possibility of having cash or other assets seized.

Besides, the Court may demand payment of the following if the accused is convicted:

Payment of costs applied for by the prosecutors

Although the police meet some of the costs involved in the prosecution, the costs of investigation are typically sought from the convicted. These may include the costs of:

  • The work done in obtaining sufficient evidence for prosecution either at the initial stage or later at the request of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • Seeking medical or expert evidence as part of the investigation, (where a witness is required to attend Court, the cost of the attendance falls on the CPS).
  • Re-interviewing witnesses
  • The entire costs of the prosecutor, including fees for the use of external Barristers used by the CPS, can be recovered from the defendant, subject to means. At the end of the case, the prosecutor under The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 will request the Judge to order a sum to be paid for the costs incurred by the prosecutor in bringing the prosecution.

Victims surcharges

The term victims’ surcharges can be explained as paying compensation to a fund for victims and can range between £20 to £170 depending on what sentence you were given at conviction.

How sentences can be added to national information databases

There are several national databases that hold information about individuals and any allegations made about them, their criminal and court records. These include the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) which was previously known as the CRB (Criminal Record Bureau) and the Police National Computer (PNC).  Depending on what happened, whether the accused is convicted and what sentence was issued, the accused may be added to one or all these databases. Their purpose is to provide information to potential employers and to regulate the ability to take part in certain activities.

If your case progresses to Court and you are convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Fraud by False Representation, your conviction will be noted on your CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the nature and length of your sentence.

Below are details on how long you will be listed as holding a criminal record if convicted. This is something very serious to consider when it comes to future employment. The term ‘spent’ refers to when your name can be removed from the databases.

Rehabilitation Period
(the time it takes for the sentence to become ‘spent’)
Sentence Adult (aged 18+) at time of conviction Young person (aged under 18) at time of conviction
Prison sentences of more than 4 years Sentence is never spent Sentence is never spent
Prison sentences of more than 2.5 years (30 months) but less than 4 years Sentence length 7 years Sentence length 3.5 years
Prison sentences of more than 6 months but less than 2.5 years (30 months) Sentence length +4 years Sentence length +2 years
Prison sentences of less than 6 months Sentence length + 2 years Sentence length +18 months
Conditional Discharge Length of order Length of order
Absolute Discharge None None
Conditional Caution 3 months 3 months
Simple Caution / Youth Caution None – immediately ‘spent’ None – immediately ‘spent’
Other Including Compensation Order, Supervision Order, Bind Over, Hospital Order Length of the order / once compensation is paid Length of the order / once compensation is paid

How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?

Here at Stuart Miller Solicitors, we have more than three decades of helping defendants who have been accused of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation cases to get better outcomes than they may do otherwise.

We know how hard it can be to be accused of a crime you didn’t do, or even be handed a sentence that you know could have been shorter, had you used a decent lawyer.

Our legal team is made up of some of the brightest minds in the legal field. They have also spent a significant amount of time developing their network of legal professionals. Now we have some of the best QCs, Barristers and expert witnesses in the country who work on our cases to unravel them. The extended team will also examine all of the evidence presented by the prosecutor to find holes and weaknesses that can be used to your advantage.

What will happen when I instruct a fraud lawyer?

When you instruct us to take on your case, you will be assigned a fraud lawyer. They will spend time with you to understand your case and get to know you.

The better a lawyer gets to know their client, the better the outcome of the case can be. The lawyer can represent them fairly to the Judge and jury. Once the Court feels they know more about a person, they are typically more lenient on their judgement, particularly if they like the person.

In addition, our expert witnesses will work on gathering witness statements and inspecting all evidence such as mobile phone data and communications between the accused parties. It’s the role of the prosecution to prove that there was an agreement to act together to commit fraud by false representation.

Arrest & Interview

There’s a chance that you will be arrested and charged. If this happens, you’ll be taken to the police station for an interview. It’s at this point that you must engage the services of a legal professional to support you.

The police will be going all out to convict you. With a lawyer by your side, it will be possible to demand to see all evidence held by the police so that a defence strategy can be devised after knowing all the facts.

Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?

You are invited to arrange a free thirty-minute consultation with us about your conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation case. We will work with you to understand what has happened and what your role is. We will then provide you with guidance on what you should do next.

Our team can be contacted through our contact form or by calling 0208 888 5225.

Get in touch with us now for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation legal help.

 

 

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