The Extent of Harm to the Victim as an Alternative Aggravating Factor for the Conviction of Felony Fraud in the Context of Food-Safety Violations

Yi-Chen Su


Finding the intent to defraud or mislead for the conviction of felony fraud could be very tricky in the context of food regulation. As compared to the split among the US federal circuit courts on the interpretation of intent, Taiwan courts looked into the extent of harm to the victim to determine whether the defendant should be convicted of felony fraud. In order to limit the scope of felony liability, Taiwanese law requires an additional showing of the extent of harm to the victim. Recently, courts in Taiwan further expanded the scope of the statutory language, “harmful to human health,” to include potential harm as demonstrated by animal studies. This approach provides courts in other jurisdiction with an alternative aggravating factor to assess criminal liability in nondisclosure cases arising out of non-compliance with food law.