Section 156 Crimes Act | Larceny by Clerk or Servant


‘Larceny by clerk or servant’ refers to situations where you steal property belonging to your employer.

This is considered a form of fraud as it involves a breach of trust on your part.

However, before you can be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove that you were a clerk or servant; and that you took and carried away property that belonged to your employer without any intention of returning it.

You can also be charged with this offence where you steal property that is not technically owned by your employer, but which is simply in their possession.

If you are found guilty of this offence, you could face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

However, this is the absolute maximum and will only apply in the most serious cases.

In fact, in many cases, particularly where the value of the property stolen was less than $5,000, the matter will be heard before a magistrate in the Local Court, where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment.

Our experienced criminal lawyers can advise you of the best course of action if you have been charged with this offence, and will fight hard to secure the most lenient penalty possible.

The Legislation

156 Larceny by clerks or servants

Whosoever, being a clerk, or servant, steals any property belonging to, or in the possession, or power of, his or her master, or employer, or any property into or for which it has been converted, or exchanged, shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being accused of a fraud offence such as ‘larceny by clerks or servants,’ can have a lasting impact on your life, affecting your reputation and ability to gain employment in the future.

However, you can give yourself the strongest defence against the charges with the help of Sydney’s best criminal defence team.

Our lawyers specialise in criminal law and have considerable experience fighting and winning complex fraud cases such as these.

We have a strong track record of having these types of matters dropped at an early stage by carefully examining the evidence and identifying problems with the prosecution case.

Our lawyers can then prepare compelling written representations asking the prosecution to drop the charges on this basis.

However, should the prosecution refuse to drop the charges, our highly esteemed senior lawyers will represent you in court and prepare a strong defence case which deconstructs the prosecution evidence and witness statements.

We can also assist you in obtaining a lenient penalty if you simply wish to plead guilty early on – in these situations, our experienced lawyers will prepare persuasive sentencing submissions which present your case in the most positive light in order to maximise your chances of getting the best possible penalty.

Our knowledge of this complex area of the law is reflected in our ability to consistently achieve excellent results in fraud matters.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 and book your FREE first conference with our criminal law specialists.