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Conspiracy to Defraud – Dishonestly Causing a Loss or Risk of Loss

Conspiracy to Defraud – Dishonestly Causing a Loss or Risk of Loss is an offence under Sections 135.4(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You conspired with another to cause a loss or create a risk of loss
  2. You knew or believed the loss or risk of loss would occur, or that there was a substantial risk of loss occurring
  3. You acted dishonestly, and
  4. The loss or risk of loss was to a Commonwealth entity

The prosecution does not need to prove that you knew the loss or risk of loss was to a Commonwealth entity or that the proposed act was possible to commit.

However, it does need to prove that:

  1. You entered into an agreement with at least one person
  2. You intended to carry out an act under that agreement, and
  3. You committed an overt act under that agreement

Defences to the charges include:

  1. Duress, and
  2. Necessity

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