Section 249C Crimes Act 1900 | Misleading Documents or Statements


Agent-principal relationships refer to situations where one person (the agent) is entrusted to act in the principal’s interests.

Examples of principal-agent relationships include those of lawyers, financial advisers, company managers, and other professionals with their clients.

Principal-agent relationships are legal relationships, and the agent is required to act in the principal’s best interests at all times.

Where the agent does not act in the best interests of the principal, they may be charged with a criminal offence.

One such criminal offence is that of ‘misleading documents or statements.’

To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove that you gave your agent a document which contained a false or misleading statement in relation to a material particular.

You must also be shown to have intended to defraud the principal; for example, by encouraging them to make a decision that is not in their best interests based on false information.

You may also be charged under this section if you make a false or misleading statement to a principal, where you did so with the intention to defraud them.

In either case, the maximum penalty is 7 years imprisonment.

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

Our experienced lawyers can assist you in avoiding these harsh penalties and fighting the charges to escape a conviction.

The Legislation

249C Misleading documents or statements used or made by agents

(1) Any agent who uses, or gives to the agent’s principal, a document which contains anything that is false or misleading in any material respect, with intent to defraud the agent’s principal, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

(2) Any agent who makes a statement to the agent’s principal which is false or misleading in any material respect, with intent to defraud the principal, is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers?

Being accused of giving false documents or statements to a principal can have a lasting effect on your life; impacting your future career and employment prospects.

However, a specialist criminal defence lawyer with experience fighting and winning fraud cases can assist you when it comes to fighting the charges and securing a positive outcome in your case.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers, we have a wealth of experience dealing with these complex cases. Our proven track record of obtaining excellent results in fraud cases is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our criminal law experts.

Where you have been charged with giving documents and statements, our lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence to identify problems with the prosecution case; for example, where there is insufficient or questionable evidence.

We can then write to the prosecution asking to have the charges dropped on this basis. Often, this means that matters are resolved quickly and cheaply.

However, should your matter proceed to court, rest assured that our lawyers will fight hard to protect your interests.

Our senior lawyers are respected advocates who have highly developed advocacy skills and an ability to dismantle even the strongest of prosecution cases.

We can also assist where you wish to plead guilty, by preparing sentencing submissions which present your case in a favourable light and persuade the court to impose a lenient penalty.

Call us today on (02) 9261 8881 to book a FREE first conference with our experienced lawyers.