VIC Advice/experience on upcoming arrest fraud/theft from employer

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by lpt88, 22 March 2019.

  1. lpt88

    lpt88 Active Member

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    Hi All,

    I’ve been reading through this forum to see if I can gain any advice regarding my criminal matter and thought I would sign up and just post a question.
    Here are the relevant details and I would appreciate advice, experience, likelihood, anything that could assist me.

    -managed a retail store for 2 and a half years
    -stole product worth $35,000 (value) $12,000 (cost).
    -way I stole was I created fake sales (which weren’t picked up for a long time) and then took the product.
    -I also created fake sales (selling product that we didn’t physically have, whether that be inventory discrepencies/external theft) for no reason than to ‘boost sales’ and avoid negative stock take results.
    -towards the end of my employment I started to create fake refunds, which totalled around $4000. Which ultimately led to dismissal.
    -total theft amount $40,000 (value) $17,000 cost.

    Other factors include
    -I was arrested and given a caution in the UK 13 years ago (when I was 18) for theft as an employee (amount less than $150).
    -I returned about $3000 worth of product I had.
    -I have offered to repay multiple times, but advised to cease any communication.
    -I am a British citizen, and have been in Victoria for just over 5 years on a partner visa.

    Events
    -I was interviewed by a PI, manager and HR manager mid December.
    -suspended and then terminated two weeks later.
    -during that time I have hired a lawyer.
    -I haven’t heard anything since.

    I am wondering about the following
    -time of arrest (it’s been 3 and a half months)
    -likleihood of police knocking on my door or calling me to come in?
    -sentencing outcomes

    Any advice, comments would be greatly appreciated.
    Sorry for the length (I’ve noticed not many posters give details and therefore get limited response).
    Thank you!
     
  2. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    1. Time of arrest - can happen at any time. Exactly when it happens depends on how long the employer waits to report it, the investigation process and how long it takes the Police to gather sufficient evidence.

    2. Likelyhood of Police involvement - given the lengths the employer has gone to (especially getting a PI involved), I would say that reporting the matter to Police is all but guaranteed.

    3. Sentencing outcomes - there is no way of really knowing, but there is considerable value involved; your efforts were quite elaborate; and there is also a clear intention to your actions. I would think that imprisonment is definately possible. I don't know if any history from the UK would be brought up.

    I don't know anything about immigration law, but I would think that you should also be very concerned about your visa being cancelled if charged and found guilty.

    Also, while offering to return goods or repay money might be taken into consideration for sentencing, it will have no bearing at all on the finding of innocence or guilt. In other words, it in no way negates any alleged offence committed.
     
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    #2 Scruff, 22 March 2019
    Last edited: 22 March 2019
  3. lpt88

    lpt88 Active Member

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    Thank you for your comments, it’s refreshing to hear some outside opinions on the matter.

    A few further points I’d like to discuss (if you don’t mind).
    -I plan to plead guilty to what I have done as I understand my actions and need to admit to what I have done.
    -it’s my understanding that in Victoria, risk of deportation/cancelling of visa is a factor that is considered within sentencing decisions.
    -At this stage, while I understand a term of imprisonment is likely, as long as the overall sentence isn’t 12 months or more, I have a good chance of maintaining my visa?

    -When you say eloborate, what do you mean? As I understand that a level of pre meditation is an aggregating factor, although I question whether doing it by creating false sales would be considered elaborate as the initial and primary reason was to ‘boost sales’, with there being no evidence that it was premeditated/planned (as it wasn’t). I’d be interested to understand more?

    -I also wonder (after speaking with my lawyer) that whilst $17,000 is a lot of money, whether it would be enough to imprison someone. For example in various similar cases I have read (which I understand every case has different factors), someone stole $300K and got 9 months, someone stole $500K and got 1 year, others who have stolen within the $100K+ have gotten CCO/fines etc.
    On paper (and in actuality) $17K is a lot of money, but would imprisonment be the only justifiable sentencing outcome, do you think?

    Also I understand that offering to repay doesn’t negate guilt, I just queried as to whether it would show some redeeming good character that could assist with a favourable sentencing outcome.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Scruff

    Scruff Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if that is the case or not - all I can say is that in my opinion, it shouldn't be. The sentence should be appropriate for the crime, so things such as visas shouldn't come into sentencing at all. But again, that's just my opinion. As far as the visa itself goes, I think that would be up to the immigration department.

    By eloborate, I mean that you used different methods and even though you say "no evidence that it was premeditated/planned", what you actually did strongly suggests the opposite:

    1. created fake sales and then took the product.
    2. created fake sales (selling product that we didn’t physically have, whether that be inventory discrepencies/external theft) for no reason than to ‘boost sales’ and avoid negative stock take results.
    3. create fake refunds.

    There's three different activities here. You certainly obtained a financial benefit from 1 and 3 and this looks very much like the purpose of activity 2 was to cover up evidence of the other two activities. (Note your own words "avoid negative stock take results".) If the Police and then the prosecutor become aware of this, they will present it as evidence of both premeditation and planning. In short, you can't try to cover your tracks, then claim there was no premeditation or planning and expect anyone to believe it.

    Since you're pleading guilty though, you might get through without any of this even being brought up. It depends on how you explained all of this in the interviews with the employer; how much of that gets passed on to the Police; and how comprehensive the Police brief is when it goes to court.

    Definately not, the sentence could be anything really. I don't know what current trends are, but the value involved would certainly not be the only deciding factor. As explained above, how the events unfolded would be a factor, as would the impact on the victim. So in this case, the turnover and size of the business would also be factors.

    Not many people on here will speculate in regard to sentencing because there are always a lot more facts than what can or should be posted in a public forum. So it's always best to direct those sorts of questions to your lawyer.
     
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  5. lpt88

    lpt88 Active Member

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    I appreciate your honest and open opinions on the matter and a good insight to someone outside of the situation.
    Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.
     
  6. Tony Danos

    Tony Danos Lawyer
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    The value of the theft may be an issue. Theft from employers attract heavier sentences due to breach of trust etc. Gaol is possible although avoidable.
     
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  7. lpt88

    lpt88 Active Member

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    Thanks for your response.
    From my research I have seen that it’s an aggregating factor. I’m preparing myself once arrested that the possibility of imprisonment is highly likely.
    I’m hoping that it’ll be under a year and my visa won’t be automatically cancelled or jeopardised.
     
  8. Tony Danos

    Tony Danos Lawyer
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    It should definitely be less than 1 year.
     
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  9. lpt88

    lpt88 Active Member

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    Thank you for your comments Tony.
    Just to follow up, from your experience as a lawyer, could a judge who was going to impose, say a 18 month sentence (out in 6 months), make it a 6 month conviction considering that visa cancellation is a consideration within Victorian courts (unlike other states). To avoid further/additional hardship that other prisoners wouldn’t face, hence making the punishment additional?
    I hope that made sense.
     
  10. Tony Danos

    Tony Danos Lawyer
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    Deportation not relevant. Your case will be heard by a Magistrate. As you already have a lawyer they will be in the best position to advise you.
     
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