The Fraud Act 2006

Updated on Tuesday 05th July 2016

The Fraud Act 2006 Image
The Fraud Act 2006 received Royal Assent on the 8th of November 2006 and came into force on the 15th of January 2007. The new law eliminates the deception offences in the Theft Act(s) of1968 and 1978 and here are:

•    evasion of liability by deception;
•    procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception;
•    obtaining a money transfer by deception;
•    obtaining services by deception;
•    obtaining financial advantage by deception;
•    obtaining property by deception.

The major alternative is a new dishonesty-based offence of fraud which may be committed in the next three ways and here we mention fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation and fraud by failing to disclose information.

A summary of the Fraud Act 2006, presented by our criminal solicitors in London

Section 1 announces the offence of fraud which can be committed when an individual is in breach of sections 2 and 4, in the Act's own terms. On the other hand, no constitutional description of fraud is provided, leaving the Act open to censure on the grounds of generality, open-mindedness and possible criminalization of insignificant disagreements.

Fraud by false representation
Section 2 stipulates that a "representation" refers to any statement, counting also the mental state of the individual who made the representation. A statement may be articulated or implied,can be done by any method and may be completed if it is submitted in any form to any system or device designed to receive, convey or respond to communications without human intervention. A person will make a false representation  if it is untrue or misleading and the person making it knows that it is, or might be, untrue or misleading.

Fraud by failing to disclose information
Section 3 stipulates that an individual commits a misdemeanor under this section if he deceitfully fails to disclose information to another person, while under the legal duty to disclose this data, fails to do so intentionally.  This section does not contain a definition as to what "legal duty" is in order to activate the misdemeanor.

Fraud by abuse of position
Section 4 provides that the crime will be pledged if an individual occupying a position which he is anticipated to maintain,deceitfully abuses that position, and intends by means of the abuse of his position to create an advantage for himself or another or to cause damage to another. To recap the argument made in the overview, the offence is exclusively manner- based and there is no need to demonstrate that a victim believed any representation or acted on it. 

The meaning of the Fraud Act 2006

The Act provides that an individual found guilty of fraud was liable for a penalty or detention for up to twelve months on summary conviction (six months in Northern Ireland), or a fine or custody for up to ten years, for conviction on accusation. This Act basically substitutes the rules relating to gaining property by dishonesty, obtaining a financial benefit and other offences that were formed under the Theft Act 1978.  These crimes involved much criticism for their difficulty in demonstrating at Court. Many items of the Theft Act 1978 have been canceled, however, the misdemeanor of making off without payment, defined under section 3 has not been changed.

For a better understanding of the Fraud Act 2006 and for any other information or legal advice, please feel free to contact our criminal defence solicitors in London.