Part 8. Laws And Systems Already In Place To Deal With Fraud
The Criminal Code of Canada is very specific on the subject of fraud:
R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46 says:
380 (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,
(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fourteen years, where the subject-matter of the offence is a testamentary instrument or the value of the subject-matter of the offence exceeds five thousand dollars; or
(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,
where the value of the subject matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.
- When a person is prosecuted on indictment and convicted of one or more offences referred to in subsection (1), the court that imposes the sentence shall impose a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of two years if the total value of the subject-matter of the offences exceeds one million dollars.
Affecting public market
(2) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, with intent to defraud, affects the public market price of stocks, shares, merchandise or anything that is offered for sale to the public is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
And did you know that there is no statute of limitations for fraud in Canada?
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms requires that, once charged, the accused must be tried within a reasonable time. In determining what constitutes a “reasonable time,” the clock starts ticking when the original charge has been laid as opposed to when the crime was actually committed. So for indictable offences, there is no specific time limitation on when an accused must be charged. Because of this, those who commit serious offences such as rape, murder, and fraud (if over $5,000) cannot avoid facing criminal charges simply because of the passing of time. That loophole does not exist in Canada.
What does this mean? It means that it’s not too late for the government to backtrack and start hunting down those who have been ripping us off, and hunting them down for real. There’s no such thing as “it happened too long ago”.
And it is within the power of the courts to hand out meaningful sentences to those convicted of healthcare fraud. But do they? Read part 9 of our series to find out.