Radical new fraud offence unveiled by government

The government today (19 October) announced radical proposals for a new general offence of fraud.

Following a government consultation, Baroness Scotland QC said that in the planned Fraud Bill fraud could be defined as an offence in three ways – by false representation, by wrongfully failing to disclose information and by abuse of position.

The Bill will ensure that failure to disclose will only be counted as fraud if a legal duty is breached.

The Bill will be introduced into parliament as time allows, and is one of several measures to tackle fraud including the planned introduction of identity cards.

The consultation and the ensuing proposals were prompted by a 2002 Law Commission report into fraud, which recommended introducing a general fraud offence.