White-collar criminals could face a minimum of two years in jail in fraud cases involving more than $1 million if the Conservatives get their way.
Minister of Labour Rona Ambrose unveiled the proposed legislation yesterday and said it’s about time white-collar crimes were dealt with appropriately.
“We have seen too many people fall victim to fraudulent schemes. Our government has listened and we are taking action,” Ambrose said.
“Those who take advantage of their fellow Canadians in this way are criminals and they absolutely must be held accountable under the law for what they have done.”
Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson will introduce legislation today in the House of Commons to amend the Criminal Code in matters related to fraud.
The proposed legislation would introduce “aggravating factors” for judges to consider when handing down sentences, including: Financial and psychological impact of the crime; the age, health and financial situation of its victims; and whether the fraudster concealed or destroyed related records.
Other aggravating factors would include the “magnitude, complexity and duration” of the fraud and “the degree of planning that went into it.”
“We are committed to cracking down on white-collar crime and increasing justice for victims by providing tougher sentences for the criminals responsible,” Nicholson said.
“Canadians want action on crime — all types of crime — and this government is delivering.”
Jennifer Lofgren is an alleged victim of real-estate fraud. She and her family lost over $80,000 in a an alleged scheme and Lofgren said this legislation could help victims like her.
“This legislation is an excellent start,” she said. “It’s about punishing those that take advantage of innocent Canadian families.”
With files from the Canadian Press