Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Obtaining Property by False Pretences
False pretence or false statement
362. (1) Every one commits an offence who
- (a) by a false pretence, whether directly or through the medium of a contract obtained by a false pretence, obtains anything in respect of which the offence of theft may be committed or causes it to be delivered to another person;
- (b) obtains credit by a false pretence or by fraud;
- (c) knowingly makes or causes to be made, directly or indirectly, a false statement in writing with intent that it should be relied on, with respect to the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or herself or any person or organization that he or she is interested in or that he or she acts for, for the purpose of procuring, in any form whatever, whether for his or her benefit or the benefit of that person or organization,
- (i) the delivery of personal property,
- (ii) the payment of money,
- (iii) the making of a loan,
- (iv) the grant or extension of credit,
- (v) the discount of an account receivable, or
- (vi) the making, accepting, discounting or endorsing of a bill of exchange, cheque, draft or promissory note; or
- (d) knowing that a false statement in writing has been made with respect to the financial condition or means or ability to pay of himself or herself or another person or organization that he or she is interested in or that he or she acts for, procures on the faith of that statement, whether for his or her benefit or for the benefit of that person or organization, anything mentioned in subparagraphs (c)(i) to (vi).
(2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a)
- (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years, where the property obtained is a testamentary instrument or the value of what is obtained exceeds five thousand dollars; or
- (b) is guilty
- (i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
- (ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,
where the value of what is obtained does not exceed five thousand dollars.
(3) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b), (c) or (d) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
Presumption from cheque issued without funds
(4) Where, in proceedings under paragraph (1)(a), it is shown that anything was obtained by the accused by means of a cheque that, when presented for payment within a reasonable time, was dishonoured on the ground that no funds or insufficient funds were on deposit to the credit of the accused in the bank or other institution on which the cheque was drawn, it shall be presumed to have been obtained by a false pretence, unless the court is satisfied by evidence that when the accused issued the cheque he believed on reasonable grounds that it would be honoured if presented for payment within a reasonable time after it was issued.
Definition of “cheque”
(5) In this section, “cheque” includes, in addition to its ordinary meaning, a bill of exchange drawn on any institution that makes it a business practice to honour bills of exchange or any particular kind thereof drawn on it by depositors.
Proof of Offence
False pretenses (s. 362)
- victim was deprived of a sum of money
- loss was by means of a contract or agreement
- accused caused the deprivation
- accused used false pretences to deprive victim
- accused intended to deprive the victim
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