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NSW Fraud Charges - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by hartluck, 18 September 2014.

  1. hartluck

    hartluck Member

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    Hi, I am in a situation where I have been charged with "obtaining a financial advantage by deception or caused a financial disadvantage by deception" section 192E table 1 offence, or fraud. There are 3 separate matters all listed in the local court for a hearing in November. How this has come about is by my 'suppose to be friend at the time' selling some items on the Gumtree website, but not wanting her partner to know that she was getting money (her boyfriend is a real control freak who is abusive in so many ways), so she isn't allowed to go anywhere or have any money unless his given her some which is never more then $50 at a time, and trying to support yourself and a baby on that is just not doable, she asked if she the money from the sale of the items be deposited into my bank account so her partner doesn't find out.

    I had no hesitation on letting that happen as she was my friend who was in need of some help, and I had known her for a reasonable amount of time and it didn't even enter my mind that she was up to something dodgy. Anyway she advertised some items on Gumtree (which at no stage did I participate in helping with advertising, etc.) then they buyers would deposit the fee into the bank account details she gave them (which were mine), then wasn't sending the items which was unbeknownst to me until I had the police knocking on my door after the victims had obviously made complaints of not receiving there purchases, and then steps were taken to trace the deposits which were made into my bank account there. For now I'm the one who is going down for it because my friend has disappeared off the face of the earth, and my many attempts to reach her have been unsuccessful.

    At no time during this whole ordeal did I knowingly know that any type of deception or defrauding was going on nor did I benefit financially from any money deposited as when they came through I'd withdraw them and give them to my friend as discussed. Also the money involved in these matters separately were no more than $600 each. How can I prove this is what happened to the court and what are my chances of defending these charges? Also could this be classified as a Civil matter being it involved buying and selling online? Thank you.
     
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Hi Hartluck,

    1. Have you explained this explanation to the police? As they still charging you with these charges after the explanation?

    2. Where is this received money now? If it is still in your bank account, I would return this money back to the buyers after speaking with the police and informing them that this is what you will be doing. When you transfer the monies, make sure you keep electronic or other proof (receipts) of the transfers. If you have given this money to your friend, do you have any proof of this transfer?

    3. Did you friend use another (or her own) computer to make these listings? Do these items belong to her? You should be able to request the IP address of the source of these advertisements. You need to produce evidence that the listings came from your friend. Further, are the items listed in your name or your friends?

    4. Is your friend charged? Can she ben located?
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    Further, do you have any written evidence, such as emails or letters or notes, that records this agreement you made with your friend?
     
  4. hartluck

    hartluck Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I havnt gave the police any explanation as i was advised by my first lawyer to not answer any questions & no arrangement was made for my lawyer at the time & myself to have my side heard by the police. (i have recently retained new representation because i wasn't happy with the last lawyer, he just continued to get adjournment after adjournment instead of trying to get the charges dropped or at least doing something to help me in this situation. These matters have been going on since January this year. My new lawyer is awaiting the briefs before having a conference with me). As for the money it went to my friend except 1 payment was returned to one of the victims after 2 weeks of the intial transaction but the police have still charged me even after knowing this & it being documented in their statement & i also have proof of the electric refund. My friend hasn't been charged & i cannot locate her & police don't know about her doing this because i havnt informed them (previous lawyer never advised me to). As for the posting of advertisements i don't have any idea of how when & where she made them. The property she was selling i assumed it was hers & she was buying it at trade price & then selling it, that was my impression anyway. It was a verbal discussion with her & there wasn't much to it so there is no proof that i have of her telling me about this.

    Is there any grounds to have this turned over to civil court?
     
  5. hlly

    hlly Well-Known Member

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    It won't become a civil matter unless somebody sues you for the money.

    Do you have a lawyer at the moment?
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    No.
     
  7. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    No.
     
  8. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Then you should wait on the advice of your new lawyer.
    It is not appropriate to be second-guessing or pre-empting what your existing lawyer tells (or will tell you) you by asking us.
    If you have questions, and an existing lawyer, ask your lawyer.
     
  9. hartluck

    hartluck Member

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    Sorry i didn't realise this forum was only for people who don't have a current lawyer. Arnt i entitled to opinions from others........im not second guessing my existing lawyer im simply seeking additional advice for my situation. After the first ordeal with my previous lawyer i think its understandable that i am wanting a few opinions. As i have not officially signed the cost agreement with my current lawyer nor has he received the brief and began any work on my case i don't see how iv breached any rules or been inappropriate by asking for advice.
     
  10. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    It's this bit:
    that says to me that you have already got yourself a new lawyer.
    As a matter of my own ethics, I am reluctant to get involved on here
    with someone who currently has a lawyer of their own - as your words above suggest you do.

    You are that lawyer's client (even if you haven't filled out all the paperwork quite yet).
    And yes, helping people who don't have lawyers of their own is part of what we do here.
     
    Owens Lawyers likes this.

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