Economic Crimes Inspector Jonathan Ferris B.A., M.A. (Theology) Melit, Dip. Rel. Std., Dip. Policing Role of the Economic Crimes Police Investigation and prosecution of various types of economic crimes and related offences, mainly but not limited to: Fraud Misappropriation Usury Forgeries Corruption Computer crime IPR infringements Smuggling of goods Currency counterfeiting On-line Gaming 2 The ECU one of the specialized branches of the Criminal Investigations Department. Currently the unit is headed by a Superintendent, and in all it has 7 (seven) offices all managed by an Inspector. Every office consists of 1 (one) Sergeant, and 2 (two) PCs (Police Constables). 3 FRAUD ‘An act of deception intended for personal gain or to cause a loss to another party’ 4 Fraud in terms of the Law In terms of Article 308 of the Criminal Code, the crime of fraud is committed by: ‘Whosoever, by means of any unlawful practice, or by the use of any fictitious name, or the assumption of any false designation, or by means of any other deceit, device or pretence calculated to lead to the belief in the existence of any fictitious enterprise or of any imaginary power, influence or credit, or to create the expectation or apprehension of any chimerical event, shall make any gain to the prejudice of another person.’ 5 Prison from 7 months to 2 years If value exceeds €2329.37, prison from 13 months to 7 years. If value is more than €232.94 but less than €2329.37, prison from 5 months to 3 years 6 Fraud in layman’s terms This type of crime may be committed by any person with the intent of making any form of gain to the detriment of others by fraudulent means. Such means must be the false pretences to lead the belief in the existence of any fictitious existence. 7 Elements of Fraud Hence FRAUD takes place when all of the following elements are present: An individual or organisation intentionally makes an untrue representation about an important fact or event The untrue representation is believed by the victim The victim relies and acts upon the untrue representation The victim suffers loss of money and/or property as a result of relying upon and acting upon untrue representations Any loss/gain has to be directly related consequentially to the untrue representation (deceit) 8 Many people tend not to distinguish the difference between theft and Fraud. The crucial difference can very much be highlighted if one keeps in mind the following: Francesco Carrara the Italian Criminologist defines Theft as: “La contrattazione dolosa della cosa altrui fatta in vito domino con l’ animo di farne lucro” “The taking away of a thing that has a value, belonging to others without the owners consent with the intent to make gain” 9 1. The element of TAKING: The notion of “taking” is essential in theft. This requirement of “taking” does not appear in the mechanics of fraud. 2. INVITO DOMINO (Without the owner’s consent): With regards to Fraud as against theft transfer of the stolen thing is not invito domino. In Fraud, possession is parted with by the owner voluntarily even though as a result of false representation or a trick on the part of the taker. 10 In both crimes the object being misapplied or taken is given to the offender by the owner. The object is, however, entrusted to the offender for a specific purpose in MISAPPROPRIATION. In FRAUD, on the other hand, the object is given to the offender under false pretences 11 Most common types of fraud Cheque Fraud Internet Fraud Identity Fraud Lottery Scams FRAUD Charity Fraud Insurance Fraud Card Fraud 12 One of the techniques of fraud ‘The creation of a false written document or alteration of a genuine one, with the intent to defraud ‘ 13 Several types of documents could be forged, including: Cheques and other bank documents Contracts and inheritance wills Invoices Architectural drawings Public documents Judicial acts Academic qualifications Driving test certificates 14 Cheque Fraud The most common and basic type of fraud Involves paying for a purchase by means of a: dishonoured cheque cheque drawn on a closed account stolen cheque 15 Card Fraud The use of a credit card with intent to commit fraud. Can be committed with a: Stolen card Counterfeit card Cloned Card 16 Charity Fraud The act of using deception to get money from people who believe they are making donations/good causes to charitable institutions. 17 A scam that’s been around for years and still finds victims! Also known as the "wash wash scam”, ”pretenders”attempt to fraudulently obtain money from a victim by persuading him/her that piles of banknote-sized paper in a trunk or a safe is real money which has been dyed black or another colour (e.g. to avoid detection by customs). 18 The victim is persuaded to pay for chemicals to wash the "money" with a promise that he will share in the proceeds. Originated in Africa (Nigeria) 19 Any type of intentional deception that uses the internet. A growing amount of victims of online fraud. Recent most popular types of internet fraud are purchase of second hand/quality used cars. Various renowned websites have been ‘hacked’. Almost in many cases ‘victims’ are asked to transfer money via ‘Western Union’ reason being that with a few minutes of the money is forwarded to the ‘wrong’ hands. 20 Identity Fraud This crime occurs when a person intentionally obtains and uses personal identifying information of another person to fraudulently obtain credit, goods, services, or any other thing of value without the consent of the other person 21 Insurance Fraud Insurance Fraud occurs when people deceive an insurance company or agent to collect money to which they aren’t entitled. Two types: Claim inflation/misrepresentation Intentional destruction or deterioration of an insured item to obtain insurance money – A specific crime in terms of Art. 295 of Cap. 9 (up to 3 years imp.) 22 Profile of the Fraudster 23 Frank William Abagnale A notable US fraudster of the 1960s Passed US$2.5 million worth of forged cheques across 26 countries Eight identities, including an airline pilot, a doctor, a prison inspector and a lawyer Now an American Security Consultant!!! 24 Catch Me if You Can! 12 months in French prison (about 6 months served) 6 months in Swedish prison 12 years in US prison (4 years served) 25 Malta Freeport Employment Scam Several complaints Maltese national against a A civil servant who had posed as a consultant for the Malta Freeport Promised manual jobs at lucrative monthly wages & other perks but… requested the sum of Lm1200 (€2795) from each and… despite payments jobs were never provided obviously! 26 The Cilia Home Charity Fraud 61-year old Maltese national Approached businesses to donate money for a bogus residence in London hosting the relatives of cancer patients by the name of “Cilia Home” Sentenced for 3 years imprisonment – 1/06/2011 Case appealed 27 Smart City Scam Jobless Maltese national had impersonated the position of project manager at Bovis Lend Lease, an international company entrusted with the construction of Smart City Malta Stayed at the Imperial Hotel claiming that his company would pay for his stay Chauffeur-driven service provided Payments were never advanced obviously! 18 months suspended for 3 years & ordered to refund victims within 6 months Victims not refunded as per Court order, hence conversion from suspended sentence to 18 months effective imprisonment 28 Any Questions?