Canadian Criminal Sentencing/Offences/Fraud Under $5,000



380. (1) Every one who, by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means, whether or not it is a false pretence within the meaning of this Act, defrauds the public or any person, whether ascertained or not, of any property, money or valuable security or any service,


(b) is guilty
(i) of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or
(ii) of an offence punishable on summary conviction,

where the value of the subject-matter of the offence does not exceed five thousand dollars.


Sentencing — aggravating circumstances
380.1 (1) Without limiting the generality of section 718.2, where a court imposes a sentence for an offence referred to in sections 380, 382, 382.1 and 400, it shall consider the following as aggravating circumstances:

(a) the value of the fraud committed exceeded one million dollars;
(b) the offence adversely affected, or had the potential to adversely affect, the stability of the Canadian economy or financial system or any financial market in Canada or investor confidence in such a financial market;
(c) the offence involved a large number of victims; and
(d) in committing the offence, the offender took advantage of the high regard in which the offender was held in the community.

Non-mitigating factors
(2) The court shall not consider as mitigating circumstances the offender’s employment, employment skills or status or reputation in the community if those circumstances were relevant to, contributed to, or were used in the commission of the offence.

2004, c. 3, s. 3.


Community impact statement
380.4 (1) For greater certainty, for the purpose of determining the sentence to be imposed on an offender, or whether the offender should be discharged under section 730, in respect of an offence referred to in subsection 380(1), the court may consider a statement made by a person on a community’s behalf describing the harm done to, or losses suffered by, the community arising from the commission of the offence.

(2) The statement must

(a) be prepared in writing and filed with the court;
(b) identify the community on whose behalf the statement is made; and
(c) explain how the statement reflects the community’s views.

Copy of statement
(3) The clerk of the court shall provide a copy of the statement, as soon as practicable after a finding of guilt, to the offender or counsel for the offender, and to the prosecutor.

2011, c. 6, s. 4.




Focus is usually on general deterrence. It is not frequent that the offender will reoffend.[1]

  1. R. v. Paterson,



key factors[1]

  • vulnerability of victim
  • whether accused in position of trust
  • planning and sophistication
  • nature and extent of lost
  • degree of personal benefit
  • prior record of dishonesty
  1. See R. v. Levesque (1993) 59 QAC 307 CA