New sentencing guidelines bring increased focus to the impact of fraud on victims

23 May 2014

The Sentencing Council has published a new guideline for how people convicted of fraud, money laundering and bribery should be sentenced.

It aims to provide clear guidance to judges and magistrates and will help promote a consistent approach to the sentencing of these offences in courts in England and Wales. The

Council has ensured that the impact on victims is central to how offenders should be sentenced. These offences are committed by offenders for financial gain but can mean much more than financial loss to the victim; even a relatively small sum lost can leave some victims badly affected.

Publication of the guideline also marks the first time that there has been a guideline for the sentencing of money laundering. The Council recognises that this offence is an integral part of much serious crime and wants to ensure that effective guidance is in place.

In 2012, 17,926 people were sentenced for fraud, a hugely varied offence that can affect individuals, businesses, public money and charities. The areas that may affect the payroll profession are:

  • identity fraud and internet offences like phishing
  • employees claiming for bogus expenses
  • tax fraud such as income tax evasion
  • money laundering.

Read the full press release