FRAUD CASES IN LONDON
‘Fraud’ is a word that is brandished around rather casually these days. This is due in part to the variety of offences the word covers. Previously restricted to cases where a person successfully obtains something of value from another through deception, the definition of fraud is now much wider than that. Under current legislation, the perpetrator does not need to have recorded any success in fraudulently obtaining the property, money, or assets in question; the fact that a person utters a false statement or acts fraudulently in order to make a gain and/or cause loss to another person is enough for a fraud charge. The statement and act must however have been made and done deliberately and dishonestly for the purpose of making an illicit gain.
Furthermore, failure to disclose information which a person is mandated to in order to acquire a gain or to cause loss to another person now also qualifies as a fraudulent act. People who abuse their positions for illicit gain and cause loss to others may find themselves facing fraud charges. The scope of fraud charges or offences extend to the possession of an article or any material intended for use in a fraud regardless of the fact that such article may not have been put to use yet. As such, anyone found with an ‘article’ or a device meant for capturing credit and debit card information at a cash machine will most likely be facing fraud charges.
Fraud can be a very serious offence in cases like carousel fraud, Boiler Room or Ponzi fraud and large counterfeiting operations. It can also be on a much smaller scale as in stolen cheque cases, forged signature, or fake ID. Fraud cases are almost always complex with hundreds of boxes of documents to go through. The prevalent key to successfully representing clients facing fraud charges is how thorough and meticulous the members of the defence team are. It is essential for criminal defence lawyers representing fraud suspects to have an eagle eye for details; the ability to spot important documents in the midst of thousands of papers. It takes a certain level of commitment, experience, professionalism and legal knowledge to be able to know exactly what to look for, how it assists the client’s case and how best to put it to optimum use.
Our crime solicitors in London possess all of these skills and much more. Our fraud solicitors have represented clients charged with major fraud operations spanning over different countries, they have been involved time and again in challenging the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Serious Fraud Office and other similar investigating bodies such as the HMRC or Inland Revenue & Customs on some of the methods used in gathering intelligence on our clients and the admissibility thereof.
Based on the fact that fraud cases are more often than not charged as conspiracies involving 2 or more people, it is vital to the outcome of the case that a knowledgeable and vastly experienced team of fraud solicitors is working relentlessly on your case. With decades of experience in defending fraud cases; complex or otherwise, our solicitors’ skills have become sharpened with very single case. This means that we have the most capable and efficient team of lawyers in our Serious Fraud Department and they would really like to hear from you if you or your loved ones are being investigated for fraud or already charged with fraud.
Depending on the type of fraud in question, the investigation process can be very long as well as very invasive. Most fraud matters will entail the combing of the suspect’s financial records including bank statements spanning the period of time being investigated. This is usually anywhere between a 6 month period or even 2 to 3 years, or more. For corporate bodies, i.e. businesses, fraud investigations have been known to have rather negative effects on business. Sometimes the adverse effect the investigation has on a business is far worse than trial and the subsequent sentencing. However, if we are instructed as soon as a client becomes aware of the possibility that their affairs are being looked into by any of the authorities concerned with fraud allegation, our fraud lawyers can ensure that your legal rights and liberties are adequately protected.
We firmly believe that none of our clients should have to suffer the adverse effect prolonged fraud investigations have on them, their businesses and their families. They should be conducted discreetly until such time as the prosecution is confident that it has enough material to bring an actual charge against the suspect. Even then, our fraud solicitors will utilise our wealth of experience, the most varied bag of skills and legal knowledge to ensure that the barest minimum disruption is brought to your life. The standard practice during fraud investigations is for the authorities to impose freezing injunctions on the suspect’s accounts and or assets.
For businesses, this may spell a temporary or even outright shut down of trading. We consider this completely unfair particularly as no formal charges would have been brought against the business or individual even at this stage. At London’s most prominent criminal defence law networks, our Fraud Specialist Lawyers are adept at challenging such freezing orders and have a record of getting them removed to enable some semblance of normality in our client’s life.
Specialist Fraud Solicitors
As confirmed above, fraud matters are very often concerned with financial transactions, accounts and other assets. It is very crucial that once you are charged with fraud, you secure the services of legal experts who specialise in defending anyone facing fraud charges. We are amongst the best fraud solicitors in London. From experience, we know that the prosecution is very likely to legally obtain all the information they regard as relevant from financial institutions including your banks and other investment avenues. To ensure that we leave no stone unturned in preparing your defence against the fraud charges you are facing, our London fraud solicitors will call on the skills of our in-house experts as well as the assistant of forensic accountants who will be able to analyse and track down important information faster than anyone based on their knowledge and experience.
We have every confidence in the forensic accountants and other experts we work with when necessary. We are aware of the fact that our reputation depends largely on the quality of the service we offer and as such we are particularly selective about who we work with and conduct our selection process very vigorously. The assistance of the experts we may need to use from time to time complements the expertise and hard-work of our lawyers tremendously and provides our clients with top class service.
Our other areas of expertise in complex and serious fraud include Internal Investigations & Whistleblowers, International Corporate & Financial Crime, International Criminal Law, computer fraud (see Cybercrime and the internet), Financial Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Counterfeit Goods and fake identity documents; an increasingly popular offence at both national and international levels.
Sentencing for Fraud Cases
The severity of the sentence imposed by the court upon conviction varies. It is based on the seriousness or complexity of the case itself and the defendant’s level of culpability. More often than not however, a prison term is very likely to be awarded by the court. Penalties for fraud matters are getting increasingly tougher in the bid to deter repeat and/or future offenders. An experienced team of fraud defence lawyers will utilise every available and relevant factor to ensure that the most favourable outcome is achieved in your particular case.
We always advice our clients that in most cases of fraud, particularly corporate matters, cooperation with the investigating authorities is almost always guaranteed to effectively reduce the severity of the sentence. We will of course provide you with the most practical advice as to what constitutes ‘cooperation’. Possession and/or use of a fake passport for example could attract a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. A person found guilty of fraud faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison while an accomplice or less culpable individual could be sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Sentencing is dependent on the particular facts of each case and the existence of mitigating or aggravating factors which potentially reduce or increase the seriousness of the offence.
Whatever the kind of fraud you or your business is being investigated for, no matter what the allegations already brought against you, if you are unhappy with your current solicitors and would like to discuss your case with the experts in the field of criminal defence, give us a call today and increase your chances of a favourable outcome.