An Essential Guide to Fraud: What is the Maximum Prison Sentence in the UK?

PUBLISHED ON March 23, 2022

Since establishing the Fraud Act in 2006, white-collar crimes continue to be a priority for enforcement authorities throughout the UK. As a result, the sentences for those convicted of fraud can be severe and have an enormous impact on the livelihoods and lives of the people involved. So, what is the maximum prison sentence for fraud in the UK?To begin with, we need to consider what the offence of fraud actually entails.

What is Fraud?

Fraud is a term that explains the use of dishonesty to make a gain. In a lot of cases, this is financial. People can commit fraud using misrepresentations, false statements, and dishonest conduct.The Fraud Act 2006 explains fraud as an offence that falls into one of the following categories:

  • Fraud by false representation – a false representation must be made with the intent of making a gain or causing a loss or risk of loss to another,
  • Fraud by failing to disclose information – where an individual fails to disclose information which they are under a legal duty to reveal, and the reason for this non-disclosure is to make a gain for himself or another or to cause loss or a risk of loss to another.
  • Fraud by abuse of position – a person is in breach of this section if he occupies a position, usually as an Employee, in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person, ie. the Employer, and he dishonestly abuses that position to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss.

What is the Maximum Prison Sentence for Committing Fraud in the UK?

The answer depends on the type of fraud involved.

For Fraud by false representation, fraud by failing to disclose information, and Fraud by abuse of position, the maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

However, maximum sentences are reserved for the most serious of cases. It is possible to avoid prison sentences for fraud. It depends entirely on the facts of a particular case, with close reference to the sentencing guidelines, including aggravating and mitigating factors.

Confiscation Proceedings – The Proceeds of Crime

If you are found guilty of a fraud offence, the Crown Prosecution Service may seek to claw back any proceeds related to the crime you have been convicted of. This would include seizing assets not just to repay the loser, but also to ensure that you have not profited in any way from having used the proceeds of crime. Therefore, if there is a suspicion that ‘tainted’ funds have been invested, for example, in an asset, such as property, this would come under the radar of the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Do you wish to have a consultation with a Lawyer about a potential prison sentence for Fraud in the UK?

At Hudson Marshall Solicitors, our goal is to provide clients with professional and clear legal advice and secure the best results.

If you are currently facing fraud allegations and want to achieve the lowest possible sentence for fraud, please do not hesitate to contact our criminal law firm in London for help. Call us on 0800 368 9939 to discuss your options.


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