Those Convicted of Fraud


Special care needs to be taken with those convicted of fraud. Such persons are particularly prone to blame others for their fate.

A good example is the case of Rana v Minister for Immigration [2015] AATA  227, 16 April 2015, which although a citizenship case, illustrates the cascading effects of telling lies about a conviction.  Here the applicant was convicted of a fraud involving manufacturing multiple refunds on the same product at K-Mart when he was a manager at K-Mart. However he said he was taking the ‘rap’ for his brother. In fact the Magistrates Court records showed he was the primary instigator of the scan. The result was that the Tribunal then took an adverse inference about his character. Secondly the persons giving references did not adequately refer to the K-Mart incident and his wife also gave evidence that his brother was the primary cause of the K-Mart fraud. The Tribunal said at 13 :

In the light of the principles described in the cases to which I have referred above, Mr Rana faces at least a heavy burden in attempting to satisfy the Tribunal that a contemporary assessment of his character should proceed on the basis that he had no actual involvement in the matters that resulted in his… convictions.  His attempt to discharge that burden was, in my view lacking the candid and detailed disclosure ordinarily required, somewhat formulaic, and ultimately unpersuasive.  It consisted of bare assertions of non-involvement, and castigation as “false” evidence that others gave against him.  Mr Rana’s assertions of non-involvement are obviously inconsistent with the sentencing magistrate’s characterisation of Mr Rana as having played a “facilitating role” in the offences, and with the magistrate’s apparent view that Mr Rana was more culpable than his elder brother.  In these circumstances I cannot attach any significance, favourable to Mr Rana, to his protestations of innocence in relation to the charges of which he was convicted.

The Tribunal said this about the references at 37 :

The second strong impression I have formed is that the evidence proffered by Mr Rana’s colleagues and wife to establish his contemporary good character are not based on a reliably accurate understanding of the extent of his involvement in the… offences.  On the contrary, they all seem to be based on the view that he was wrongly convicted, or at least personally blameless.  That view may be one they reasonably hold.  But it has not been shown to be based on any real knowledge of the underlying circumstances and, in the absence of specific evidence to establish the true extent of their knowledge, it is not a view I am inclined to adopt, given the sentencing Magistrate’s remarks about Mr Rana’s role in the offences.