Recurring behaviours: fraud?

An interesting case for a lawyer.. Does taking a few pennies (legally each time) constitute fraud? The answer is yes if there is a scheme to defraud. This is a typical case of an offence by habit: the isolated behaviour is not in itself illegal (it can be, like practising medecine illegally, but the offence often is punishable only after the behaviour has been repeated twice); its repetition makes it illegal because a pattern emerges and an intention to behave illegally appears. In this, case, to use the possibility to take legally one penny numerous time to obtain money (plus under false identities) clearly is fraud. “Is It Fraud If You Collect One Penny Legally Over And Over Again?” (28 May 2008)

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
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