Pinsent Welcomes Fraud Reform; LEGAL & FINANCE

Article excerpt

Plans to overhaul the UK's antiquated fraud laws will make it much harder for criminals to avoid prosecution, according to anti-fraud experts at Birmingham law firm Pinsent Masons.

The Government's Fraud Bill, which is currently making its passage through Parliament, proposes to repeal a number of existing offences in favour of a new single one of fraud.

It will be committed in one of three ways - making a false representation, failing to disclose information or an abuse of ones position.

Pinsent Masons said the changes would greatly assist employers in prosecuting employees and deal effectively with incidences involving computers and IT systems. Offences such as theft, corruption, false accounting, forgery and counterfeiting will remain and sit alongside the new offence of fraud.

The maximum prison sentence for fraudulent behaviour will remain at ten years. However a new offence of obtaining services by deception will be created with a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. …