Fraud Under $5000 | Criminal Defence

There are many differences between theft and fraud. Fraud under $5,000 can be proceeded summarily or by indictment in Canada — but if you’re facing charges that exceed this amount it’s important for lawyers to know exactly what kind they are.

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Fraud is a crime of dishonesty, and as such, it can have lasting consequences for a convicted person. Although fraud can be a criminal offence or a civil one, depending on the circumstances of the case, it can result in having a criminal record. Despite being a non-violent act, if you are found guilty of fraud under $5,000, that can result in a permanent criminal conviction.

The maximum penalty for fraud under $5,000 is two years in prison. However, the severity of your punishment will depend on whether or not there are aggravating circumstances present such as premeditated planning and breach-of trust by you specifically with regards to this crime; which could lead up to longer sentences if convicted.

In addition to criminal penalties, it includes adversity when pursuing employment opportunities as well as permanent damage to an individual’s personal reputation.

Types of Fraud Under $5000 Offences

What Is Fraud Under $5,000 Offence?

The Criminal Code of Canada defines fraud as “deliberately depriving someone of their belongings through deceit or misrepresentation of their true intention.” It also applies to public property.

Technically, fraud can be considered the same as theft. But there are certain differences. In fraud cases, the victims give their belongings or services up willingly. However, they are tricked into doing so. For example, they are unaware that a seemingly authorized financial transaction is redirecting their funds elsewhere.

A fraud charge can include shoplifting-related crimes such as altering price tags or fraudulent returns. But it can also include crimes like forgery, insurance fraud, and identity fraud.

Depending on the monetary value of the item involved in a fraud, an accused may be charged with fraud under $5,000 or over $5,000. The main difference between these fraud offences is the severity of punishment if convicted.

Dealing With Fraud Charges in Ontario

There are many ways to commit fraud under $5,000. We’ll discuss some of them below.


Shoplifting is a very common form of fraud in Canada, with many cases under $5k occurring. This includes price manipulations and discount schemes. Although these offences may not seem important by themselves, they could be considered criminal offences if you’re caught doing them — so always take shoplifting seriously no matter how small the value might seem at first glance.


Forgery is a crime that affects the legal rights and obligations of another person. It can be used in concert with fraud, identity theft or any other type of change-making operation where there is an intention to affect someone else’s funds/assets at their expense. This can be by falsely making these changes on paper which would lead another into believing something different than what actually exists.

The Sondhi Defence team has earned integrity and reliability over the years. If any of these situations apply to you, we are here to help fight for your rights!

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information without consent to commit a crime. The most common types of personal data stolen are credit card numbers or debit card information, but identity theft can also mean that you have been charged with crimes like fraud. The sentence for identity theft will vary depending on the impact that it has had. The more devastating consequences to a victim, the higher the severity you can expect an accused’s punishment — even if they’re not aware of all their actions or know how many people were affected by them.

Credit Card Fraud

If you are convicted of credit card fraud in Canada, the maximum punishment is two years imprisonment and/or a $5k fine for summary convictions. If it’s an indictable offence, then the maximum punishment is ten years imprisonment.

If you have been charged with credit card fraud, then hiring a good criminal defence lawyer is essential. Sondhi Defence will be able to either prove your innocence or negotiate for less time in prison depending on the outcome of court proceedings and conviction rates within that jurisdiction.

Differences Between Fraud Under $5,000 and Fraud Over $5,000


Fraud can either be a civil case or a criminal one. In civil cases, an individual found liable would have to pay damages to the victim of fraud. In criminal cases, the individual will go through the trial procedure.

If found guilty of fraud criminal act, the penalty can include a fine and possibly a jail sentence. A conviction of criminal fraud under $5,000 will result in an entry on that person’s criminal record.

Those guilty of offences of an amount less than $5,000 are subject to a prison term of up to two years.

Moreover, the criminal code also recognizes an offence of fraud over $5,000, based upon the value of the resulting harm arising from fraud. According to Section 380 of the Criminal Code of Canada, if criminal charges of fraud over $5,000 result in a conviction, the individual can be subject to a prison term of up to 14 years.

How Can an Attorney Help?

Creating a defence for your fraud case is possible, especially if you have the right fraud lawyer on your side.

Our skilled fraud lawyers at Sondhi Defence can help you through the legal process. We have experience handling fraud cases in Ontario and can advise you on what to say and do throughout the process.

We can help you understand the implications of your fraud charges and advise you on available options. Contact us today so we can discuss your case further.

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I would like to say huge thank you to Mr. Ankush Sondhi for resolving my complex case quickly and very efficiently. Hiring him as my lawyer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He is very knowledgeable, reliable, supportive and available to clarify any questions or concerns. He is well focused on getting the best outcome for his clients. I would highly recommend him.

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If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, call us right away at 1 (855) 4-SONDHI and get our team on your side.