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Bookeeper was Charged with Fraud and Dishonesty

The accused is a bookkeeper working for Landilo Staircases Pty Ltd (Landilo) and who was charged with one count against 178BB and 19 counts against section 178BA of the Crimes Act 1900. Her acts constitute fraud: making of false statements with intent to obtain a financial advantage and dishonestly obtaining for herself a financial disadvantage.

Between May 2002 and May 2003, the accused moved monies from Landilo’s business account to her own personal account by means of cheque deposit and telephone transfer. In other occasions, the accused used a keycard to withdraw Landilo’s monies from an ATM. Her dishonesty and fraud fall under section 178BB and section 178BA of the Crimes Act 1900.

The Crown must prove the elements of Section 178BB beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, should any degree of reasonable doubt arise on the offence or any of its elements, then that doubt must be taken into account.

The elements of Section 178BB are the following:
1.) The accused made a written statement;
2.) Knowledge that the statement is false in a material particular;
3.) Intent to obtain financial advantage.
On the other hand, the elements of Section 178BA are the following:
1.) The accused obtained money or a financial advantage for herself;
2.) With dishonesty;
3.) By a deception.

The definition of “deception” under this particular section is “any deception (whether deliberate or reckless) by words or conduct as to fact or as to law”

The fact that the accused made a written statement is not disputed. This is evident in the actual written statement that the accused signed herself. Additionally, it can be gleaned that if the accused’s purpose was to set up an account that she could use to transfer funds, it is clear that the statement she made was with intent to obtain a financial advantage. If it is found that the accused deliberately perpetrated deceptions as defined under the law, then her conduct is considered dishonest by the standards of a reasonably prudent person and renders her guilty for the offences charged.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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