Fraud

Fraud refers to cases where the perpetrator deliberately misrepresents facts to the victim. This misrepresentation must result in a mistake being made by the deceived person, in turn prompting the latter to dispose of an asset (an act, connivance or a failure to act; e.g. the victim surrenders an object; the victim provides a service). This disposal of an asset on the part of the deceived person causes the deceived person or a third party to suffer material damage, while simultaneously resulting in unjust enrichment on the part of the perpetrator or another person.
The criminal intent of the perpetrator must present all of the characteristics described above (the constituent elements of a criminal act). Furthermore, the criminal intent of the perpetrator must have been to unjustly enrich him/herself or another person through the conduct of the deceived person.
The fraud is complete if material damage occurs to the deceived person or a third party.

Penalty framework

For the criminal offence of ‘fraud’, provision is made for a custodial sentence of up to 6 months or a fine of up to 360 daily rates.
More severe penalties are applied if the damages exceed 5,000 Euro and 300,000 Euro (serious fraud). In such a case, the criminal intent of the perpetrator must include the extent of the damages suffered.
Provision is made for a custodial sentence of up to 3 years if:

  • the offence causes damages exceeding 5,000 Euro (this applies, for example, if the damages amount to 5,001 Euro);
  • fraud is committed involving more than nominal damages, where the person is deceived as to the use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method in accordance with the Annex to the Anti-Doping Convention for the purposes of doping in sport.

In the case of damages exceeding 300,000 Euro, for example damages amounting to 300,001 Euro, provision is made for a custodial sentence of 1 to 10 years.

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 18 February 2021

Responsible for the content: oesterreich.gv.at Editorial Staff