Criminal Code Act 1995 (Australia)/Chapter 7/7.4

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Part 7.4—False or misleading statements[edit]

Division 136—False or misleading statements in applications

136.1 False or misleading statements in applications

Knowledge

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person makes a statement (whether orally, in a document or in any other way); and
(b) the person does so knowing that the statement:
(i) is false or misleading; or
(ii) omits any matter or thing without which the statement is misleading; and
(c) the statement is made in, or in connection with:
(i) an application for a licence, permit or authority; or
(ii) an application for registration; or
(iii) an application or claim for a benefit; and
(d) any of the following subparagraphs applies:
(i) the statement is made to a Commonwealth entity;
(ii) the statement is made to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;
(iii) the statement is made in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.

(1A) Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (1)(d)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(i) if the statement is not false or misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2). See subsection 13.3(3).

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) if the statement did not omit any matter or thing without which the statement is misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3). See subsection 13.3(3).

Recklessness

(4) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person makes a statement (whether orally, in a document or in any other way); and
(b) the person does so reckless as to whether the statement:
(i) is false or misleading; or
(ii) omits any matter or thing without which the statement is misleading; and
(c) the statement is made in, or in connection with:
(i) an application for a licence, permit or authority; or
(ii) an application for registration; or
(iii) an application or claim for a benefit; and
(d) any of the following subparagraphs applies:
(i) the statement is made to a Commonwealth entity;
(ii) the statement is made to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;
(iii) the statement is made in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 6 months.

(4A) Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (4)(d)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (4)(b)(i) if the statement is not false or misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (5). See subsection 13.3(3).

(6) Subsection (4) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (4)(b)(ii) if the statement did not omit any matter or thing without which the statement is misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (6). See subsection 13.3(3).

Alternative verdicts

(7) If, in a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), the trier of fact is not satisfied that the defendant is guilty of the offence, but is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offence against subsection (4), the trier of fact may find the defendant not guilty of the offence against subsection (1) but guilty of the offence against subsection (4), so long as the defendant has been accorded procedural fairness in relation to that finding of guilt.

Geographical jurisdiction

(8) Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction—category D) applies to an offence against subsection (1) or (4).

Definition

(9) In this section:

benefit includes any advantage and is not limited to property.


Division 137—False or misleading information or documents

137.1 False or misleading information

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person gives information to another person; and
(b) the person does so knowing that the information:
(i) is false or misleading; or
(ii) omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading; and
(c) any of the following subparagraphs applies:
(i) the information is given to a Commonwealth entity;
(ii) the information is given to a person who is exercising powers or performing functions under, or in connection with, a law of the Commonwealth;
(iii) the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.

(1A) Absolute liability applies to each of the subparagraph (1)(c)(i), (ii) and (iii) elements of the offence.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(i) if the information is not false or misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2). See subsection 13.3(3).

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(b)(ii) if the information did not omit any matter or thing without which the information is misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3). See subsection 13.3(3).

(4) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(i) if, before the information was given by a person to the Commonwealth entity, the Commonwealth entity did not take reasonable steps to inform the person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (4). See subsection 13.3(3).

(5) Subsection (1) does not apply as a result of subparagraph (1)(c)(ii) if, before the information was given by a person (the first person) to the person mentioned in that subparagraph (the second person), the second person did not take reasonable steps to inform the first person of the existence of the offence against subsection (1).

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (5). See subsection 13.3(3).

(6) For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5), it is sufficient if the following form of words is used:

“Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence”.

137.2 False or misleading documents

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the person produces a document to another person; and
(b) the person does so knowing that the document is false or misleading; and
(c) the document is produced in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the Commonwealth.

Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the document is not false or misleading in a material particular.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (2). See subsection 13.3(3).

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who produces a document if the document is accompanied by a written statement signed by the person or, in the case of a body corporate, by a competent officer of the body corporate:
(a) stating that the document is, to the knowledge of the first‑mentioned person, false or misleading in a material particular; and
(b) setting out, or referring to, the material particular in which the document is, to the knowledge of the first‑mentioned person, false or misleading.

Note: A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (3). See subsection 13.3(3).

137.3 Geographical jurisdiction

Section 15.4 (extended geographical jurisdiction—category D) applies to each offence against this Division.