Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Fraud in Russia: History and Present

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Fraud in Russia: History and Present

Article excerpt


Fraud is an act which was criminalized many centuries ago. The mention of a fraud is found in the first written sources of right. For example, property frauds (stellio natus) in ancient Rome were met as often as in our time. Different ways for a theft commitment by deception existed in different periods of society development.


The basis of the study were the international legal acts, the RF Constitution and the Criminal Code of Russian Federation. They used historical and legal, formal and logical, systematic and structural, specific and sociological and statistical methods and the method of comparative law during the study.


Deception is the essence of fraud, but whether any fraud should be punished? The basis of the provisions concerning the unreasonableness of deception is an ancient philosophical debate, which is clearly reflected in Diogene's views and the views of his student Antipater. However, the philosophers explored the issue of truth telling obligation prior to Diogene and Antipater. Antipater was an ardent supporter of this duty, considering that its performance could even be a forced one.

The philosophical dispute about the right to truth and lie was attended by many thinkers of later periods. Kant, followed by Fichte and Hegel, for example, held on extreme views: "A lie can not be allowed in any relations, even a necessity does not justify it" (Foinitsky, 1871).

However, this point of view to a lie never took place in the legal field. The representatives of natural law school, distinguishing between law and morality, narrowed significantly the right to truth and the corresponding general obligation of truthfulness.

Spinoza, for example, made the performance of a specifically adopted duty to depend on the following fact: whether an obliged man considers it reasonable and useful for him or not. He obviously could not recognize the right to truth. Lie he had the same legal means of existence, as well as labor. He wrote that "a person who deceived an other one due to the mental predominance over him, acts according to natural law, and the more he practices his mind, the more justified his actions" (Spinoza, 1874).

This statement is similar to the remark of the English judge Holt. English criminal law reduced the reaction to the violation of property rights, to the response to a direct assault on foreign ownership for a long time based on the fact that each separate owner has a duty to ascertain whether the person to whom he gives access to his belongings is a trustworthy one. In 1703, the Chief Judge Holt offered to apply to a civil court concerning the case in which someone was induced fraudulently to provide money to a supposed representative of an authorized person. Thus Holt raised the following question: "Do we have to put someone in the position of an accused one in order to consider another one as a fool?" (Modern foreign criminal law, 1961)

From the time of Peter I, the domestic criminal legal doctrine is influenced by the German Law School. I. Ya. Foinitsky finds that the criminal law concept of fraud in the military articles "founded" doctrine of all-German right of that period: like in German law, the punishable cases of fraud are placed not in the chapter on property crimes, but in the chapter of "false actions in general" alongside with such acts as perjury, forgery of coins, forgery and other frauds (Foinitsky, 1871). Fraud was recognized as an accomplished one only after the occurrence of property damage in the sense of a real transfer of property from one person to another. The value of the stolen property was important. According to the military articles and the Decree of 1781 they differed fraud in the amount of up to 20 rubles and more. Later, the gradation of fraud takes place into a number of articles depending on the value of stolen property. The price of a thing was not taken into account, if a fraud was committed for the fourth time or the troop state property was stolen; later these circumstances were added by other ones. …

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