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Making a False or Misleading Statement to Your Principal

Making a False or Misleading Statement to Your Principal is an offence under section 249C(2) of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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

  1. You were an agent
  2. You made a statement to your principal
  3. The statement was false or misleading in any material respect, and
  4. You intended by your conduct to defraud your principal.

An ‘agent’ includes:

  1. Any person employed by, or acting for, another person in any capacity
  2. Any person purporting to be, or intending to become, employed by another person
  3. Any person purporting to act, or intending to act, for another person
  4. A police officer
  5. A councillor of local government
  6. A councillor of an Aboriginal Land Council, and
  7. A board member of an Aboriginal Land Council.

The essential elements of fraud are:

  1. That by a deception
  2. You acted dishonestly, and
  3. Your actions caused you to obtain a financial advantage or caused another to suffer a financial disadvantage.

The fact that your conduct was customary in your trade, business or profession is not a defence to the charge.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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