What the law says
Section 176 of the Crimes Act states:
Whosoever, being a director, or officer, of any body corporate, or public company, makes, circulates, or publishes, or concurs in making, circulating, or publishing, any written statement, or account, which he or she knows to be false in any material particular, with intent to deceive, or defraud, any member, shareholder, or creditor, of such body corporate, or company, or with intent to induce any person to become a shareholder, or partner therein, or to intrust, or advance, any property to such body corporate, or company, or to enter into any security for the benefit thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
What the police must prove
In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.
1. The accused was a director or officer of the company named.
2. Whilst in that position, the accused made, circulated or published (or concurred in such action).
3. A written statement relating to the affairs of the company.
4. Which was false in a material particular.
5. With intent to deceive (and defraud) the person named.
6. The accused well knew of the falsity of the statement.
It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Directors Publishing False Statements is 10 years imprisonment.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is a Table 1 offence which means that either the DPP or an accused can elect to have the matter dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made it will be dealt with in the Local Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to