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Conspiracy to Defraud – Influencing a Public Official

Conspiracy to Defraud – Influencing a Public Official is an offence under Section 135.4(7) 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 person with the intention to influence a public official in the exercise of their duties
  2. You did so dishonestly
  3. The official was a Commonwealth public official, and
  4. The duties were those of a Commonwealth public official

The prosecution does not need to prove that you knew the official was a Commonwealth public official, or that the duties were those of a Commonwealth public official 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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