Creation of a Substantive Offence of Fraud
This 1996 report was prompted by the anomaly that, while there was an offence of conspiracy to defraud, Hong Kong had no general offence of fraud which could be committed by one person acting alone. Instead, a number of specific offences (such as obtaining property by deception) were provided in the Theft Ordinance. One of the criticisms of the law was that it was illogical that an act which was lawful if done by one person should become unlawful simply because more than one person has agreed to commit it.
The Commission concluded that a new offence of fraud should be created. This would be committed by a person who by deceit with intent to defraud induces another to follow a course of action resulting in either a) prejudice or a substantial risk of prejudice to another or b) benefit to the person committing the fraud. The person committing the fraud must know or believe that his deceit is false and must intend his victim to act upon it.
The recommendations contained in the report were incorporated in the Theft (Amendment) Ordinance in 1999.
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