Penalties For Fraud In Victoria

fraud charges

When charged or under investigation for potential fraud, it is essential to comprehend your legal rights and options.

The complexity of fraud law demands careful consideration before giving interviews or attending court. A criminal lawyer experienced in various fraud matters, can offer advice and representation at the Magistrates Court, County Court, or even a Centrelink interview.

Should you need help, immediate contact with an experienced fraud lawyer will provide guidance through every stage of your fraud case, from the initial interview to the matter’s final resolution.

Possible Penalties for Fraud Charges in Victoria

The penalties for fraud charges in Victoria can be severe and vary greatly depending on the specific charge and circumstances of the offence. Fraud charges can range from fines and community correction orders to lengthy terms of imprisonment.

Remember, the court considers many factors when determining the appropriate penalty, including the gravity of the offence, the circumstances of its commission, and the personal circumstances and criminal history of the offender.


Fraud offences can carry substantial terms of imprisonment. For example, offences such as making, using, or supplying identification information with the intention of committing an indictable offence (s192B Crimes Act 1958) carry a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.


Depending on the nature of the offence, a court may impose significant fines. The actual amount will vary depending on the specific offence and the circumstances of the case. In Victoria, the value of one penalty unit is around $184.92.

Community Corrections Order (CCO)

A CCO is a flexible sentence that the court can tailor to suit the offence and the offender’s circumstances. This can include conditions like unpaid community work, treatment and rehabilitation, supervision, and non-association or place restriction conditions.

Discharge and Adjournment

For less serious offences, or where the court deems it appropriate, an offender may be discharged and the matter adjourned. This typically involves the offender agreeing to certain conditions, such as not committing another offence during the adjournment period.

What Affects Penalties of Fraud Charges

The severity of penalties for fraud charges, including Centrelink fraud penalties, can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the nature of the offence, the amount of money or value of property involved, the duration and complexity of the fraudulent activity, and the defendant’s criminal history.

These factors may be considered collectively by the court when determining a penalty for fraud charges. Each case is unique, and outcomes can vary significantly based on the individual circumstances of the case.

centrelink fraudsters

Type of Fraud

All cases of fraud are criminal offences but different types of fraud carry different maximum penalties.

For instance, a summary offence like unexplained possession of personal property suspected to be stolen (under s26 of the Summary Offences Act 1966) carries a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment, while an indictable offence like obtaining property by deception (under s81 of the Crimes Act 1958) carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

Centrelink Fraud

Centrelink fraud, a serious offence nationally criminalised under various sections of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), involves deceitful activity to obtain financial advantages from Centrelink. Centrelink fraudsters face significant penalties, including imprisonment.

Summary Offences

Summary offences are considered less serious fraud charges and are legislated under the Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic). These charges are dealt with in the Magistrates Court and can carry a maximum penalty of up to 2 years imprisonment.

Indictable Offences

Indictable offences, more serious fraud charges, are legislated under the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). These offences are heard in the County Court and carry a maximum penalty of more than 2 years imprisonment. Examples of indictable offences include obtaining property or financial advantage by deception, false accounting, and falsification of documents, amongst others.

Amount or Value of Property Involved

The amount of money or value of property involved in the fraud can significantly influence the severity of the penalty. The higher the value, the more severe the penalty tends to be.

Complexity and Duration

The duration over which the fraudulent activity was conducted and its complexity (such as the involvement of sophisticated deception or multiple parties) can also impact penalties. A single instance of fraud may attract less severe penalties compared to systematic, long-term fraudulent activity.

Criminal History

A defendant’s prior criminal record, particularly related to fraud or dishonesty offences, can influence the severity of the penalty. Repeat offenders often face more severe penalties.

Mitigating Factors

Conversely, mitigating factors, such as early guilty pleas, cooperation with law enforcement, or evidence of remorse, can lead to a reduced sentence.

If You're Charged With Fraud in Victoria

Being charged with a fraud offence can be a daunting experience. But remember you have legal rights and options.

If you have been charged or are under investigation for a fraud offence, please contact Sher Criminal Lawyers immediately. We are here to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your matter.

Our team of specialist lawyers is extensively experienced in fraud matters. We frequently advise and represent clients in all kinds of fraud offence cases before the Magistrates and County Courts of Victoria.

We are available 24/7 and offer free consultations by way of Zoom, Facetime or in person at our Melbourne and Moorabbin offices.

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book Now

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.