Economic Crimes

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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.’
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
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
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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.
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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)
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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”
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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.
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 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
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Most common types of fraud
Cheque
Fraud
Internet
Fraud
Identity
Fraud
Lottery
Scams
FRAUD
Charity
Fraud
Insurance
Fraud
Card
Fraud
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One of the techniques of fraud
‘The creation of a false written document or
alteration of a genuine one, with the intent
to defraud ‘
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
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
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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
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Card Fraud

The use of a credit card with
intent to commit fraud.

Can be committed with a:
 Stolen card
 Counterfeit card
 Cloned Card
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Charity Fraud

The
act
of
using
deception to get money
from people who believe
they
are
making
donations/good causes to
charitable institutions.
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
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).
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
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)
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
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.
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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
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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.)
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Profile of the Fraudster
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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!!!
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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)
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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!
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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
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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
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Any Questions?
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