Criminal Code Act 1995
Section 3CHAPTER 10 - NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE Part 10.2 - Money laundering Division 400 - Money laundering SECTION 400.10 Mistake of fact as to the value of money or property (1)
A person is not criminally responsible for an offence against section 400.3 , 400.4 , 400.5 , 400.6 , 400.7 or 400.9 in relation to money or property if:
(a) at or before the time of dealing with the money or property, the person considered what was the value of the money or property, and was under a mistaken but reasonable belief about that value; and
(b) had the value been what the person believed it to be, the person ' s conduct would have constituted another offence against this Division for which the maximum penalty, in penalty units, is less than the maximum penalty, in penalty units, for the offence charged.
Assume that a person deals with money or property that is the proceeds of crime. While the person believes it to be proceeds of crime, he or she is under a mistaken but reasonable belief that it is worth $90,000 when it is in fact worth $120,000.
That belief is a defence to an offence against subsection 400.4(1) (which deals with money or property of a value of $100,000 or more). However, the person would commit an offence against subsection 400.5(1) (which deals with money or property of a value of $10,000 or more). Section 400.14 allows for an alternative verdict of guilty of an offence against subsection 400.5(1) .
A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in subsection (1) (see subsection 13.3(3) ).
A person may be regarded as having considered what the value of the money or property was if:
(a) he or she had considered, on a previous occasion, what the value of the money or property was in the circumstances surrounding that occasion; and
(b) he or she honestly and reasonably believed that the circumstances surrounding the present occasion were the same, or substantially the same, as those surrounding the previous occasion.