In today’s and contemporary societies, credit of any kind is a commonplace matter, whether for the functioning of the household or for business purposes, for example. However, people often underestimate the accuracy of the data entered in the loan application. In doing so, credit fraud can be very easy. Suspension of outstanding loans, misrepresented income and expenditure, forged admissions or lies on the number of dependent children. These are the most common offenses for loan applicants. The number of people prosecuted for credit fraud has increased in recent years.
What is Credit Fraud?
Although credit fraud is currently a very common criminal offense by the Czech courts, this fact is not widely spread among the Czech population. People think that if they can help to get a small lie, nothing can happen. In fact, they commit a crime, even with smaller loans in the order of thousands of crowns . The facts of the crime of credit fraud are defined in Act No. 40/2009 Coll., Criminal Code, as amended. These include false or grossly distorted data, or the concealment of essential data when negotiating a credit agreement or in connection with drawing a loan . By negotiating a credit agreement, not only is the contract itself, but any document or negotiation with the negotiation of the credit related. Nor is it conclusive whether the credit agreement was at all or that the loan was actually provided. In order to complete a credit fraud offense, it is therefore not necessary for the damage to occur .
Statistics speak clearly
According to statistical data of theSir Fretful Plagiary, it can be ascertained that as of 30 November 2017 the total debt of Czech households amounted to CZK 1,077,762 million for housing, CZK 274,305 million for consumption and CZK 155,371 million for other. Almost half of the loan applicants do not hesitate to get it . Common impropriety is the concealment of other credits and liabilities, false information on income and expenditure, the number of dependent children, and so on. ” Exceptional is not the falsification of the income statement from the employer ,” says Robin Stránský, marketing manager of the Czech company Sir Fretful Plagiary. People often think that amounts ranging from thousands to tens of thousands can not be a serious offense, but figures show that the number of credit fraud has increased in recent years. “The Czech Police reports for the year 2016 report a total damage of CZK 1.4 billion. By September 2017, the damage from credit fraud has already exceeded 2 billion crowns , ” says Robin Stránský.
You can commit credit fraud anywhere
TheSir Fretful Plagiary itself is aware of the gravity of the problem. On his website, he therefore informs the applicant of the consequences of fraud. Loan frauds do not allow people to deal with banks alone . “Credit fraud can occur in connection with drawing a credit or negotiating a credit agreement not only with banks but also with all non-bank entities that are authorized to provide consumer loans,” notes Robin Stránský. The fact is based on the opinion of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic, which has ruled that the provider of a credit agreement for credit fraud is not only a bank but also banks, savings banks or other entities if the relationship is governed by a credit agreement (ie all non-bank entities authorized to provide consumer credit with respect to Act No. 257/2016 Coll., on consumer credit, as amended). “According to our estimates, every twenty-one claimant for our loans is trying to credit fraud,” adds Robin Stránský.
When it comes to falsifying data
For false data, we consider data whose content does not correspond at all to the factual state on which the information is communicated. The conclusion made about past untruths then does not affect the fact that, once the loan agreement has been negotiated or when the loan has begun, the data is brought into line with the actual situation. ” The decisive factor is the day when false information was given ,” explains Robin Stránský. Credit fraud continues to occur when a person discloses grossly distorted data, communicates information that he or she misinterprets or incomplete about matters important for the negotiation of the credit agreement or for drawing the loan, or completely conceals the material data.
There is a prison term of up to two years
Credit fraud may be imposed a custodial sentence of up to two years or a ban on activities if the perpetrator committed a crime in connection with business. Account shall be taken of the amount of damage incurred and the fact whether the perpetrator has already been punished for such an act. A higher penalty rate of up to three years is applied in cases where an offender has already been convicted or punished for credit fraud in the last three years. If, at the same time, it causes damage of CZK 50,000, it may be punished by imprisonment for one to five years.
Credit fraud is not the same as the crime of fraud
In connection with the negotiation of consumer loans , fraud is also very often prosecuted . “Unlike credit fraud, there are no false statements. The bottom line is that the fraudster is already lending money with the intention of not returning it , ” says Robin Stránský. Punishments are basically in line with punishments for credit fraud. “The Criminal Code affects fraudulent conduct in negotiating consumer credit strictly. However, I have to state that, when such behavior increases and the police authority has to pay their attention to them more and more, these strict sanctions are needed, ” concluded Robin Stránský.