The definition of fraud in the Criminal Code has been interpreted broadly in order to capture all forms of deceptive behaviour. Courts also have found that there need not be any monetary loss involved in order for a fraud to take place.
Money laundering is a term that describes the activities used to conceal the true origins of certain assets. It is not only a criminal offence to possess the proceeds of crime, but it is also an offence to use, transfer the possession of, send or deliver to any person or place, transport, transmit, alter, dispose of or otherwise deal with "any property or any proceeds of any property with intent to conceal or convert that property or those proceeds, knowing or believing that all or a part of that property or of those proceeds was obtained or derived directly, or indirectly," as a result of the commission of certain designated criminal offences.
Cars, money, jewelry, electronics, real estate or any other property that the Crown determines is related to a criminal offence can be seized as part of a criminal investigation. There is federal and provincial legislation that allows the police to seize your property.
In order to have your property returned it will have to be shown that the property seized is:
- Not related to the offence;
- Owned by an innocent third person;
- Not required as evidence in a trial; or
- Traceable to lawful funds.
The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) is Canada's financial intelligence unit. It is an independent agency established in and operates within the ambit of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and its Regulations. FINTRAC’s mandate is to facilitate the detection, prevention and deterrence of money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.