Insurance Fraud – Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception

Our client was charged with Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception related to insurance fraud. The circumstances were that he was talking with a colleague at his work about some financial problems that he was having at home and mentioned that he was planning on selling his car. His colleague said that he knew some people that could arrange an ‘insurance job’, meaning that his associates could stage an accident and the client could make an insurance claim. The client agreed to participate and handed his keys to the colleague.

What is alleged to have occured?
The client was then contacted by the associates and was told where the staged accident was. Upon arrival at the scene, he lodged a claim through his insurance company and subsequently received over $12,000. The insurance company became suspicious, as a large number of very similar claims were being made. The police investigated and discovered that the associates were involved in orchestrating similar stunts on a large scale. In this client’s particular case, the police discovered anomalies between the damage actually caused to the car and the client’s account of what happened. He was interviewed by the police and made full admissions to the insurance fraud.

What happened at court?
Kristina Kothrakis acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on a charge of Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception.

The client was a man in his 30’s who was married and had children. He presented as extremely remorseful for what he had done. He instructed Kristina that he felt so guilty about his involvement in the matter and that he had not spent any of the money. Kristina made arrangements for him to return the money to the insurance company prior to the court hearing.

The client was particularly concerned about the impact that a criminal record would have on his livelihood, as he is required to submit regular police checks for his work. Apart from being found not guilty of the insurance fraud or having the charge withdrawn, the only way to avoid a criminal record is for the matter to proceed as a diversion.

Kristina prepared a submission to the prosecution outlining the reasons why the case was an appropriate matter for diversion. They included the client’s lack of prior history, his genuine remorse and co-operation with the police, his repayment in full of the amount obtained, and his very low risk of re-offending.

What was the result?
The prosecution were eventually persuaded to file a diversion notice.

At court, Kristina was able to set out these matters along with excellent character material to ultimately persuade the magistrate that the client should be given an opportunity to avoid a record. The charge of Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception arising from insurance fraud ultimately resulted in a sentence of diversion for a period of 1 year.

Elements of Obtaining a Financial Advantage By Deception:
  • The accused obtained financial advantage.
  • The accused used deceit to obtain the financial advantage.
  • The accused obtained the financial advantage dishonestly.
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Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 12/02/2019