Fraud can take many forms, from large-scale organised crime involving millions of pounds to smaller-scale activity such as benefit fraud or a forged signature on a cheque.
The law relating to fraud is varied and complex. A number of agencies now specifically target businesses and individuals suspected of fraudulent activity. In addition, new branches of law enforcement are being created to deal specifically with growing areas of fraud, such as cybercrime and offences involving the use of crypto-currency.
The effects of a fraud investigation on individuals or businesses can be devastating. The nature of the investigation can be overwhelming, with investigations on a large scale frequently starting with a dawn raid on your home or office. The investigative process can be drawn out and prosecutions can generate thousands of pages of evidence.
The practical repercussions on an individual’s personal finance can also cause major problems as the immediate freezing or seizure of assets at the start of a fraud prosecution can be common.
For these reasons, it is vital to seek specialist advice at the earliest possible stage if you find yourself under investigation or facing prosecution for any form of fraudulent activity.
We have specific experience defending the full spectrum of fraud and associated offences. Our lawyers are routinely instructed in all types of cases and have represented clients charged with:
- Immigration/passport fraud and forgery
- Mortgage and banking fraud
- Bank card fraud
- Benefit fraud
- False accounting
- Money laundering
- Fraud by abuse of position
- Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) fraud
- Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA)
- Misconduct in a public office
We are members of the Legal Aid Agency’s Very High Cost Case (VHCC) panel, as we are recognised as having the necessary skills and expertise required to deal with complex and high value cases.
Recent examples of work the team has been involved in:
- Defending a client charged with a cross-border passport factory fraud and unlawful immigration conspiracy, which involved expert IT analysis.
- Acting for a former Home Office employee convicted of 10 counts of misconduct in a public office.
- Defending a client charged in connection with a multi-million pound international VAT carousel fraud.
- Large-scale fraud investigation at the Ministry of Defence.
- A multi-million pound money-laundering investigation concerning a defendant with links to large-scale organised crime.
- DWP/Local Authority investigation into a foreign national who claimed tens of thousands of pounds in benefits whilst holding significant sums of capital in several bank accounts.
- Conditional discharge secured for a client convicted of claiming thousands of pounds in housing benefit while out of the UK based on mental health issues.
- Conditional discharge secured for a university student convicted of claiming over £6,000 in income support due to financial difficulty.
We can offer individuals or businesses under investigation, immediate and discreet assistance at any stage in proceedings. We hold a criminal contract with the Legal Aid Agency which enables us to apply for public funding where appropriate. For those who do not qualify for Legal Aid, we will discuss your individual financial circumstances and tailor a competitive package that works for you.