Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fraud Sentences May Be Increased

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fraud Sentences May Be Increased

Article excerpt

FRAUDSTERS could soon be sentenced according to how much harm they cause their victims and not how much money is involved, under new proposals.

The Sentencing Council wants criminals convicted of financial crimes to receive tougher punishments if they have targeted vulnerable people or left victims badly affected.

A 14-week consultation on the draft sentencing guidelines for fraud in England and Wales is launched today.

If accepted, they will mean higher sentences for some offenders compared to the current guidelines, particularly where the financial loss is relatively small but the impact on the victim is high.

Offenders' culpability will also be increased if they target people who are particularly vulnerable, including because of their age.

Sentencing Council member Michael Caplan QC said: "Fraud is committed for financial gain, but it can mean much more than financial loss to the victim. Our research with victims showed the great impact it can have on them. …

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