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Friendly Societies Act 1974

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

99Punishment of fraud, etc. and recovery of property misapplied

(1)If any person, with intent to mislead or defraud,—

(a)gives to any other person a copy of any rules, laws, regulations or other documents, other than the rules of a registered society or branch, on the pretence that they are the existing rules of that society or branch or that there are no other rules of the society or branch, or

(b)gives to any person a copy of any rules on the pretence that they are the rules of a registered society or branch when the society or branch is not registered,

he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400 or on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both a fine and such a term of imprisonment.

(2)If any person obtains possession by false representation or imposition of any property of a registered society or branch, or fraudulently withholds any such property in his possession or fraudulently applies any such property for purposes which are not authorised by the rules of the society or branch or which are not in accordance with this Act, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400 and to be ordered to deliver up that property or to repay all moneys improperly applied ; and any person who fails to comply with such an order made by a court in Scotland shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months.

(3)If—

(a)in proceedings under subsection (2) above which do not result in a conviction, or

(b)in civil proceedings instituted for the purpose,

a magistrates' court or, in Scotland, the sheriff is satisfied that any person having possession of any property of a registered society or branch has failed to deliver it up when requested to do so by the society or branch, the court or sheriff may make an order requiring him to deliver up that property; and any person who fails to comply with such an order made by a sheriff in Scotland shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months.

(4)If in any such proceedings as are referred to in subsection (3) above a magistrates' court or sheriff is satisfied that any person has applied money belonging to a registered society or branch for purposes which are not authorised by the rules of the society or branch or which are not in accordance with this Act, the court or sheriff may order him to repay to the society or branch the money which he has so applied; and, whatever the nature of the proceedings in which any such order is made, the order shall be enforceable as an order for the payment of money recoverable, in the central registration area, summarily as a civil debt.

(5)Where a magistrates' court or sheriff makes an order under subsection (3) or subsection (4) above, that order may be appealed against as if it were an order of that court made on the conviction of the person to whom the order is directed.

(6)Proceedings under subsection (2) above may be instituted by, and in the central registration area only by, the following persons, that is to say—

(a)in the case of a registered society, by the society or any member authorised by the society, or the trustees or committee of the society; or

(b)in the case of a registered branch, by the branch or any member authorised by it or the trustees or committee thereof or by the central body of the society of which the branch forms part, or by any member of the society or branch authorised by the central body; or

(c)in any case by the Chief Registrar or any assistant registrar by his authority, or by any member of the society or branch authorised by the central office.

(7)Nothing in this Act shall prevent any person guilty of an offence under this section from being proceeded against by way of indictment, if he has not previously been convicted of the same offence under the provisions of this Act.

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