Obtaining Property By Deception – Fine Without Conviction

This is a case study on a charge of Obtaining Property By Deception leading to a fine without conviction. The accused had no relevant criminal history. He was working as a taxi-driver at the time of the offending and the offences occurred during his work as a taxi-driver.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with 200 offences including indictable offences of Obtain Property By Deception (Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and related summary offences under the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 (Vic). It was alleged that the offending occurred over a period of 13 months. After negotiations, the prosecution accepted 3 representative charges of Obtain Property By Deception.

The allegation was that he obtained funds he was not entitled to through activating the meter when a passenger was not in his taxi. It was further alleged that he had charged for fares he was not entitled to charge.

It must be noted that the client was not a permanent resident. He was on a particular visa that permitted him and his wife to work full-time in Australia. Before he was charged, he had begun to apply for permanent residency.

What happened at court?
The client pleaded guilty to the offences and made a substantial repayment in restitution for his conduct. We acted on his behalf at the Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on the charge of Obtaining Property By Deception. This case ultimately led to a fine without conviction although diversion was initially requested but was rejected by the prosecution.

After a plea in mitigation, the magistrate was persuaded not to record a conviction and impose a financial penalty. Orders were made for restitution (our client having already made a substantial payment) and costs. Our client was thrilled to avoid conviction for these offences despite the seriousness of the offending.

Of significance in this case were the circumstances which operated at the time of the offending. Although the offending was repeated in nature, the amounts involved were quite small. The total quantum of compensation sought by the prosecution was under $4,000.

The client was advised early on to make a substantial contribution to restitution if possible, and this advise was followed. On the day of his plea hearing, our client presented the prosecution with a bank cheque in the amount of $1,500. He also received the benefit of an early plea of guilty, and the remorse for his conduct demonstrated by his plea.

Our submission that our client was of good character was demonstrated through several good character testimonials and the fact that he had no prior criminal history.

What was the result?
As this was a case of Obtaining Property By Deception that ultimately led to a fine but without conviction, our client’s prospects of obtaining permanent residency in Australia for himself and his wife were not affected.

Elements of Obtaining Property By Deception:
  • The accused obtained property belonging to another
  • The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property
  • The accused used deceit to obtain the property
  • The accused obtained the property dishonestly
Related case studies
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 17/09/1985