German Fraud Law

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

German Fraud Law

Lawyers for German Criminal Law

German law knows a variety of fraud offences so that a wide range of acts can realise the offence. For those affected, it is challenging to identify the facts of the case due to this diversity. Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte offers comprehensive legal assistance to provide them with the support they need in such a situation. Our German criminal lawyers ensure that all evidence for a fraud case is secured immediately and that all formalities required for a criminal complaint are complied with so that the perpetrator can be identified. We represent you in adhesion proceedings to assert your claims for damages.

We offer comprehensive and committed defence for persons who have been confronted with allegations of fraud. With in-depth expertise and extensive experience, our legal team provides you with comprehensive advice and defence. Our lawyers ensure that you strengthen your position during the investigation proceedings and that your rights as an accused person are always protected.

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Our Services

For the accused
  • Representation in preliminary and main proceedings
  • Inspection of files
  • Development of a suitable defence strategy
  • Preservation of evidence
  • Consultation of witnesses and experts
For damaged parties
  • Criminal complaint
  • Representation as a secondary or private plaintiff
  • Preservation of evidence
  • Compensation
Services in context
  • Many years of negotiating experience in main and preliminary proceedings | Instance and appeal proceedings | Preservation of evidence by forensic experts | Cyber fraud | Internet law | Payment transactions | Banking law

Fraud under German Law

The offence of fraud is regulated in Section 263 of the German Criminal Code (StGB). According to this, fraud is committed by anyone intending to obtain an unlawful pecuniary advantage for themself or a third party damages the assets of another person by creating or maintaining an error by false pretences or by distorting or suppressing facts. The penalty for simple fraud ranges from a fine to five years imprisonment. Severe fraud cases can even be punished with up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Furthermore, an attempt to commit fraud is also punishable (Section 263 (2) StGB). For these reasons, a corresponding criminal charge should not be taken lightly. If you find yourself facing an accusation of fraud, you should immediately consult an experienced criminal defence lawyer.

As mentioned, fraud is a complex offence that imposes some explicit and unwritten requirements. In simple terms, the offence requires the following characteristics:

  • a deception about facts (actively or by omission),
  • an error of another based on it,
  • a disposition of property by the person making the error,
  • a pecuniary loss due to this pecuniary disposition,
  • intent and intention to enrich.

In addition to simple fraud, paragraph 3 of the penal provision lists various characteristics which regularly lead to the assumption of fraud in a severe case. These are standard examples that increase the range of punishment to up to ten years imprisonment. The fulfilment of one or more of these characteristics has an aggravating effect on the sentence.

However, it is essential to know that these are not actual elements of the offence but merely rules for assessing punishment. This means that if such a characteristic is fulfilled, it regularly indicates the existence of a severe case. However, such a case can also be rejected despite the existence of the characteristic.

The concrete circumstances of the individual case can stand in the way of the assumption of a severe case. In practice, the most relevant examples are those of commercial fraud or gang membership (no. 1), loss of assets of great extent (no. 2) and faking an insured event (no. 5). Furthermore, it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive so that unnamed severe cases can also be assumed.

In addition, Section 263a StGB standardises a particular offence for computer fraud. This is not about deceiving a person but about influencing a data processing result.

Criminal Defence: Legal Assistance in Fraud Cases

An accusation of fraud can be very damaging for the accused. Fraud is an official offence which can be prosecuted officially even if the injured party withdraws the criminal complaint.

For the accused, severe damage to reputation often results in financial losses and private and professional disadvantages. This applies to companies whose image has a decisive influence on customer confidence.

Accused persons who receive a police summons should always be aware that their behaviour is decisive for the further course of the investigation from the very beginning. You have the right to remain silent, which you should use. You may incriminate yourself during the interrogation without competent legal advice and good preparation. Such a statement is difficult to correct later, even by an experienced lawyer.

Our lawyers will examine the facts and evidence for you to develop a suitable defence strategy. It is often possible to resolve the matter out of court. An out-of-court solution can avoid time-consuming, expensive court proceedings and negative reporting. Which approach is most appropriate in your case depends on the circumstances of the individual case. Our criminal defence lawyers will develop an effective and targeted strategy based on available information. Depending on the initial situation, this may mean avoiding a criminal conviction or seeking a lenient sentence.

The German criminal defence lawyers of Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte have extensive experience in defence – regardless of the type of fraud in question (computer fraud, embezzlement, subsidy fraud, insurance fraud or such legally complex forms of economic fraud as capital investment, bank, or tax fraud). Our legal team will advise you on how to respond to measures such as asset freezes, extradition orders, and asset seizure requests not to jeopardise your legal position.