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This table is intended to be used as a guide only. Individual cases should be read if they are to be relied upon. 

 

Fraud - by Solicitors

See list of offences and penalties at end of table

Case
(age if Known)

Offence and Max PenaltiesAmountPleaOriginal SentenceAppealRecordFacts

George

(54)

NSWCCA

23.9.1994

9 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

Sched:

27 x s.178A

$612,305PG

MT 4y 6m

AT 1y 6m

AA

MT 3y

AT 2y

Nil

Solicitor defrauded clients over five years - one count involved forgery, others involved false epitome of mortgage

Not motivated by greed - $65,000 recovered

Holmwood

NSWCCA

25.10.1995

5 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

s.178BA (NSW) [5y]

 

s.178BB (NSW) [5y]

 

Sched:

13 offences

$571,000 +PG

MT 4y

AT 2y

ADNilSolicitor defrauded clients over four years.

Marvin

(38)

NSWCCA

5.11.1995

41 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

s.300(1) (NSW) [10y]

 

s.300(2) (NSW) [10y]

 PG

MT 18m

AT 6m

AA

MT 12m

AT 12m

NilSolicitor misappropriated funds over four years.

Hughes

(39)

NSWCCA

24.7.1996

5 x s.271 (NSW) [14y]

 

s.24(1) (Cth) [2y]

 

s.24(2) (Cth) [2y]

 

s.31(1) (Cth) [5y]

 

Sched:

2 offences

$379,000PG

MT 2y 6m

AT 2y 6m

ADNil

Solicitor committed offences on 4 occasions over 15 months – calculated and complicated fraudulent activity – operated bank account in false name – opened second bank account in false name – conducted 5 non-reportable financial transactions – forged 5 wills

Financial difficulties – depression - some reparations made – genuine remorse – admission to undetected guilt – excellent character

Cofini

(37)

NSWCCA

4.3.1997

3 x s.300(2) (NSW) [10y]

 

Sched:

6 x s.300(2)

loss to bank: $1.452mPG

MT 1y

AT 1y

AD 

Solicitor used documents to deceive bank to obtain large loan for client.

Severe hardship since offence - genuine remorse.

Hunt

(42)

NSWCCA

30.9.1997

5 x s.178A [7y]$38,341.38VG

MT 1y

AT 21m

AD 

Solicitor misappropriated funds from two elderly clients - money used for expenses

$18,000 recovered.

Petroff

NSWCCA

20.7.1998

5x s.178BA (NSW) [5y]

 

2 x s.178BB (NSW) [5y]

 VG

MT 12m

AT 12m

AA

MT 11m

AT 11m

dishonesty

on recog

Telephoned people claiming to be a solicitor representing men seeking bail - sought money for surety - six times money changed hands.

Sentence reduced because one count quashed.

Boland

NSWCCA 13.10.1998

s.178A (NSW) [7y]$48,759.08PG

MT 18m

AT 6m

ADnil

Solicitor committed single, but carefully planned, offence using system of bank accounts designed to make detection very difficult.

Great professional and personal stress at time of offence - full restitution - remorse - delay in sentencing.

Francipane

NSWCCA 23.12.1998

s.178BA (NSW) [5y]$220,000VG

MT 4y

AT 2y

AA

MT 3y

AT 1y

nil record

Wrongfully obtained money from V by lying about the purpose it was to be used for.  Solicitor / client relationship an aggravating factor.

No money recovered.

Sentence reduced because second count of s.178BA quashed on appeal

Smith

(2000) 114 A Crim R 8

NSWCCA

5 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

Sched:

14 x s.178A

$2,832,740PG

MT 3y

AT 2y

Crown AA

MT 4y 6m

AT 2y

nil

Solicitor under investigation in Queensland carried on practice in NSW after practicing certificate taken away - received money for mortgages and failed to invest money - severe breach of trust

Financially struggling - loving and devoted family man - co-operated with receiver - $250,000 recovered.

Houlton

(56)

[2000] NSWCCA 183

5 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

Sched:

80 x s.178A

$347,000PG

3y PD

5y GBB

$120,000 reparation

Crown ADnil

Solicitor misappropriated money held on trust for clients over 3 year period - money used for business and personal use.

Substantial delay - some reparation made - under significant stress from personal and professional situation at time of offence.

Aliperti

(50)

[2000] NSWCCA 315

s.178BA (NSW) [5y]

 

Sched:

6 x s.178BA

s.178A

$400,000VG

MT 3y 9m

AT 1y 3m

AA

4y

NPP 3y

nil

Solicitor misappropriated money given to him by clients for purpose of investment - serious breach of trust.

Judge failed to take into account substantial delay between arrest and trial.

Carr

(49)

(2002) 135 A Crim R 171

NSWCCA

s.176A (NSW) [10y]

 

 

s.178A (NSW) [7y]

$321,666

 

 

$358,952

PG

4y

NPP 2y

 

FT 2y

(concurrent)

Crown AD

Sentence inadequate but discretion applied

 As company director and solicitor fraudulently obtained money from company in 1996 - no charges pursued until second offence - as solicitor for second company banked cheque for sale of property in personal account

Hovan

(44)

[2005] NSWCCA 179

s.178BB (NSW) [5y]

 

s.300(1) (NSW) [10y]

 

s.300(2) (NSW) [10y]

 

PG

(40%)

4y 6m

NPP 3y 6m

AA

3y

NPP 18m

Nil

Solicitor made false application for computer equipment loan – obtained $102,000 - $58,000 outstanding – forged signature and seal of clients on deed of release – received $20,000 costs payment on behalf of client – money owed to applicant

Second offence breached bail – struck off – full reparation underway – poor financial manager – psychological problems

Pike

[2006] NSWCCA 32

s.178BA (NSW) [5y]$10,000VG

14m

NPP 7m

PD

AD 

Falsely represented to male acquaintance he was a solicitor – given $10,000 for investment

Conviction appeal against 6 similar offences allowed

Assi

(44)

[2006] NSWCCA 257

2 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

2 x s.178BA (NSW) [5y]

 

Sched:

3 x s.178A

3 x s.178BA

$222,000

PG

(10%)

7y 6m

NPP 4y 9m

AA

7y 6m

NPP 4y 6m

Breached bail and parole – similar offences

Disqualified solicitor defrauded several clients

Appeal allowed to correct small error.

Oudomvilay

(37)

[2006] NSWCCA 275

6 x s.178A (NSW) [7y]

 

Sched:

s.178A

$809,350PG

6y 9m

NPP 4y

ADNilFemale Laotian solicitor took money from trust account.

Nikolaidis

(52 at sentence)

(2008) 191 A Crim R 556

s.300(1) (NSW) [10y]  VG

2y

NPP 12m

ADNil

Solicitor had secretary type backdated letter purporting to be terms of engagement between offender and former client – involved in dispute with client – costs assessment being made by Supreme Court assessor – mid range offence – part of continuous course of conduct – breach of trust

Loss of employment

Jafari

[2017] NSWCCA 152

s 131.1(1) (Cth) [10y]$220,000PG2y to be served by Intensive Correction Order

Crown AA

3y imprisonment, to be released on recognisance at the end of the period of 18 months.

Nil2008 offence – charged in 2016 - senior lawyer employed in Australian Government Solicitor's office – jointly responsible with colleague for managing trust established by Commonwealth, for a man previously in Defence Force who had been seriously injured - prepared authority for payment from trust of $220,000 to a friend to whom offender owed money - signed document and forged signature of colleague.

Last updated: 30.11.2017


Tables of Offence

OffenceSectionActMaximum Penalty
Larcenys.117Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Steal, embezzle or for fraudulent purpose destroys etc whole or part of valuable securitys.134Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Larceny by clerk or servants.156Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Embezzlement by clerk or servants.157Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Falsification of accounts by clerk or servants.158Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Agent misappropriates money entrusted to him or hers.165Crimes Act 190010 years
Trustee fraudulently disposes of propertys.172Crimes Act 190010 years
Director of company or member of body corporate fraudulently appropriate property of company or body corporates.173Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Director falsifies books with intent to defrauds.175Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Cheat or defraud as director or member of body corporate or public companys.176ACrimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Fraudulent misappropriation of money collected or receiveds.178ACrimes Act 1900 (NSW)7 years
Pass valueless cheque with intent to defrauds.178BCrimes Act 1900 (NSW)1 year
Obtain valuable thing by deceptions.178BACrimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Obtain valuable thing by false or misleading statements.178BBCrimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Obtaining credit by frauds.178CCrimes Act 1900 (NSW)1 year
Obtain property by frauds.179Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)5 years
Dishonestly by deception obtain property or financial advantage or cause financial disadvantages.192ECrimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
Corruptly receive or solicit commission or rewards.249BCrimes Act 1900 (NSW)7 years
Forging wills.271Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)14 years
Make false instrument / use false instruments.300 (1) & (2)Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)10 years
    
Obtains valuable thing from Commonwealth by false pretencess.29ACrimes Act 1914 (Cth)5 years
Imposition on Commonwealths.29BCrimes Act 1914 (Cth)2 years
Defraud Commonwealths.29DCrimes Act 1914 (Cth)10 years
Conspiracy to Defraud Commonwealths.29D / s.86(2)Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)20 years
Steal, fraudulently misappropriate or fraudulently covert to own use Commonwealth propertys.71(1)Crimes Act 1914 (Cth)7 years
Conspiracy to defrauds.86ACrimes Act 1914 (Cth)20 years
    
Officer of corporation providing false informations.564(1)Companies (NSW) Code2 years
    
Open account / operate account in false names.24(1) / 24(2)Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 (Cth)2 years
Conduct transactions to avoid reporting requirementss.31Financial Transactions Reports Act 1988 (Cth)5 years
    
Make false / misleading statement in support of claim for Commonwealth benefits.62(1)National Health Act 1953 (Cth)5 years
    
Fraudulently omitting to account for deposits.88(a)(i)Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 1941 (NSW) (since repealed)10 years
Fraudulently convert property to own uses.88(b)(i)Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 1941 (NSW) (since repealed)10 years
    
Being reckless and failing to discharge duties as director in good faith and in the best interests of the companys.184(1)(a)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
Being intentionally dishonest and failing to discharge duties as director in good faith and in the best interests of the companys.184(1)(b)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
A director, other officer or employee uses position dishonestly with intention of directly or indirectly gaining advantage for themselves or someone else, or causing detriment to corporations.184(2)(a)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
A director, other officer or employee uses position dishonestly reckless as to whether the use may result in themselves or someone else directly or indirectly gaining an advantage or causing a detriment to corporations.184(2)(b)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
Being privy to fraudulent altering of books of companys.590(1)(c)(iii)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)2 years
Authorise issue of prospectus with material omissions.996(1)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
Disseminating information knowing it was false in a material particular, and which was likely to induce purchase of sharess.999Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years
Dishonest conduct in course of carrying on a financial services businesss.1041G(1)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years - increased to 10 years
Make materially misleading statement likely to induce person to acquire financial productss.1041E(1)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)5 years - increased to 10 years
Make or authorise misleading statement in document required for purposes of Corporations Laws.1308(2)Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)2 years
    
Officer knowingly or recklessly failed to act honestly in exercise of power and discharge of dutiess.232(2)Corporations Law (Cth)5 years
An officer or employee of a corporation must not, in relevant circumstances, make improper use of his or her position as such an officer or employee, to gain, directly or indirectly, an advantage for himself or herself or for any other person or to cause detriment to the corporation.s.232(6)Corporations Law (Cth) 
    
Theft from Commonwealth entitys.131.1Criminal Code (Cth)10 years
Obtain financial advantage by deceptions.134.2Criminal Code (Cth)10 years
Dishonestly intend to gain or cause loss to Commonwealth entitys.135.1Criminal Code (Cth)5 years
Conspiracy to defraud Commonwealth entitys.135.4Criminal Code (Cth)10 years

 

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