Offences of False or Misleading Information in NSW

This is a guide. For legal advice, we recommend you speak to a lawyer for customised advice. Here is more on Centrelink fraud.

Former NSW Member of Parliament, Daryl Maguire has been charged over an alleged “visa and migration fraud” by the Australian Border Force.

The former Wagga-Wagga president has been accused of criminal conspiracy with the help of Migration agent Maggie Logan between January 2013 and August 2015.

It is alleged that Mr Maguire conspired with Logan to have false or misleading documents provided to the deferral government, in connection with non-citizens’ visa applications.

Allegedly both individuals have breached the migration act various times in providing fraudulent documents.

Specifically, Logan has allegedly breached 12 counts of the Migration act causing the delivery of documents with a false statement.

As these matters remain subject to legal proceedings, it would not be appropriate to comment further,” Border Force said in a statement.


Fraudulent Crimes in NSW

Fraud is broadly considered an act on behalf of a person that is deceptive or deceitful in some way in that it causes a person to receive a benefit that he or she is otherwise not entitled to.

In NSW Under Section 192E of the crimes act (1900) a person is guilty of fraud if the Court finds them guilty of the following:

  • A person who, by any deception, dishonestly obtains property belonging to another
  • Obtains any financial advantage or causes any financial disadvantage,

The maximum penalty for a fraudulent crime is 10 years in jail depending on the circumstances of the case and aggravating/mitigating factors.


What is Deception?

Under Section 192B of the Crimes Act, deception is defined as something that a person says or does and can be about facts or law. It is any deception by words or conduct and includes a deception as to the intentions of a person using the deception or any other person.

This involves when a person conceives and executes these acts to mislead a person intentionally.

This also includes conduct by a person that uses a computer, machine or electronic device to make a response that the person is not authorised to cause it to make.


What is Dishonesty?

Under Section 4B of the crimes Act 1900, Dishonesty means dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people and known by the defendant to be dishonest according to the standards of ordinary people.

For an individual to be found guilty of a fraudulent offence, it must be proved beyond reasonable doubt that the individual acted with dishonesty and that either a benefit or financial advantage was obtained.

The acts that constitute “dishonest” are dependent on the Jury to determine against usual standards if a person has acted dishonestly.


Offences of False or Misleading Information in NSW

Up to 2 years imprisonment and/or $22,000 fine is prescribed by section 307C Crime Act to any person who produces a document to another person, knowing that it’s false or misleading, if the document produced is in compliance or purports to be compliant with a NSW law.


Use of False Documents

There are also severe penalties for using false or misleading documents.

Under Section 254 of the Crimes Act 1900, using a false document is an offence with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment if you use a false document, knowing it’s false, with the intention of inducing someone to accept it as genuine and due to it being accepted as genuine, you end up obtaining a property belonging to another person, or you end up obtaining a financial advantage or cause a financial disadvantage, or you end up influencing the exercise of a public duty.


Definition of a “False Document”?

  1. To have been made in the form or terms in which it is made by a person who did not make it in that form
  2. To have been made in the form or terms in which it is made on the authority of a person who did not authorise its making, existence, or alteration
  3. To have been made or altered on a date on which, or at a place which it was not made or altered or existed.

By Alyssa Maschmedt and Jimmy Singh.

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