Cryptocurrency fraud cases are technical and slow. Our experts can steer you through.

Cryptocurrency cases can result in people involved in new finance tech being targeted by police and even suffering under the criminal law. Investigators and sometimes lawyers can seem unhelpful or callous, and a person's life can be seriously disrupted.

Our specialist cryptocurrency fraud lawyers defend these cases, and work to get them dropped at an early stage wherever possible.


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Table of contents

Finding out you’re the target of a cryptocurrency fraud investigation can be a crisis moment. Police or other agencies may take a heavy handed approach. They can assume everyone involved must be guilty, without really understanding what cryptocurrency is. Your property may be seized, affecting your ability to function. You may be worried about prison or losing assets.

These cases can seem very unfair when people claim to be victims but in fact are investors complaining after the fact. The police then assume a crime must have taken place. Perhaps unbelievably, even lawyers often don’t understand these cases unless they're cryptocurrency fraud specialists.

In fraud cases it's easy to get caught up in someone else’s criminal behaviour, even without knowing what was going on. So-called Ponzi scheme cases often involve only one criminal. Police can also end up targeting victims as if they were part of a conspiracy. They can suffer real damage to their reputation.

One major problem in cryptocurrency fraud is that evidence is not available to defend yourself properly at the outset, even if you’re innocent. The police seize digital devices and drives but don't disclose what is on there for months or even years. This can mean that you have the case hanging over you, not knowing what will happen next. Police can even pressure you to give up passwords to help them, rather than to help them see the case from their perspective.

Lawyers in this area are not usually specialists, even if they have some financial crime background, because these cases involve technology that has been around only a few years, and is part of different generation's experience.

The psychological pressure that people face may increase because there is the possibility that family will be brought into the situation or affected in other ways. Sometimes the person investigated can even be placed under bank account restrictions or bail conditions limiting computer use or even travel.

You do not have to feel as though your case is a losing battle. While the government has been slow to react, lawyers have been keeping a close eye on cryptocurrency for years. That means there are specialist cryptocurrency fraud defence lawyers available.

They will explain the evidence against you and highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the case. Their examination of the evidence will allow them to identify your defence and explaining legal jargon in a way you understand.

With investigations often spanning years, they will ensure you understand the processes from start to finish. Even more importantly, their support will not waiver no matter the duration of your case.

These lawyers will give you back control at a time where it feels everything is out of your hands. So, despite the clear lack of specialist lawyers in this area, you should know they are out there.

Our nationally recognised lawyers are experts at listening to and absorbing complex information. We listen to our clients so that we can understand the personal, legal and technical issues that arise in crypto cases. This allows us to effectively tailor our approach to suit you. 

We ensure that we are always available for you 24/7. By giving you back a sense of agency we can help you feel empowered to tackle problems head on. 

We take proactive, early steps to try and get the case stopped before it goes to court. By engaging the investigators early our specialist cryptocurrency fraud lawyers can identify potential issues and extinguish them before they cause any damage. 

We put together a team of experts to fight your case. Our specialist cryptocurrency fraud solicitors, top KC barristers, and renowned expert witnesses. If your case reaches trial, our lawyers will make you feel that no stone has been left unturned to get the win.

  • Call us and speak to one of our nationally recognised cryptocurrency fraud lawyers.

  • Don't despair. There is very little that can't be improved if you are proactive and get the right advice and support.

  • Don't say anything to the police about the allegation without a lawyer present.

  • Don't discuss the case with friends or colleagues who you do not absolutely trust. They could be forced to give evidence against you. This includes the sending of private messages and emails.

  • Don't post anything on social media under your own name or an assumed alias and do not ask anyone to post anything for you.

  • Don't destroy or delete data or messages. Even if you have done nothing wrong, and it could be a criminal offence.

  • If you think you are at risk of an investigation do securely back up your data. Having access to potentially helpful material during an investigation can be a major advantage. This can be especially important when it comes to evidencing trading history.

FAQS

Frequently asked questions

In the UK, fraud and cybercrime investigations typically take a minimum of one year to conclude. They can sometimes last two or three times as long as that. Police and other agencies are often relying on specialist technical advice from outside. The evidence they are trying to gather comes from different sources, including devices seized, other investigations, ISP data and financial records from various institutions including banks. This is a fairly difficult operation to manage, and investigators are often running the whole thing on a restricted budget. If the decision is made at the end of the investigation to bring the case to court, it will likely be several months more before it is finished.

Police and other investigators have powers to seize evidence that may be relevant to their investigation, but they do not have a right to keep those devices longer than necessary. This means that if computers or hard drives can be 'mirrored' and returned to a suspect with their data intact, they should be. If the devices could be used to commit further offences, police may refuse to return them and ask the court for permission for them to be destroyed at the end of the case. Drives containing cryptocurrency blockchain information are more likely to be treated as an asset and unlikely to be returned early.

If the police ask you to provide a password informally, you don't have a legal duty to do so. But if they make a formal request using a section 49 RIPA (Regulatory Investigatory Powers Act) notice, you are under a legal obligation to provide a password if it is within your knowledge. If you have forgotten it, this is a defence, but you may have to persuade a court that this is genuine. The sentence for a s. 49 offence can be up to two years imprisonment, or up to five years if the case involves sexual offences against children or national security (for example if it involves terrorism).

If family or friends have had large amounts of money going through their bank accounts, you should be ready for the possibility that they will also be arrested. This also applies if you're being investigated by the police and your friends or family members' devices or internet have been used. This doesn't necessarily mean that they will be charged or convicted, although if money has gone through someone's account, the default position of a prosecutor is often to take that person to court. If you or a friend/family member are in this position, you need specialist cryptocurrency fraud legal advice.

Trying to assist the police as much as possible, by cooperating as much as you can and hoping they go away, is nearly always a bad idea. The police and investigators have no duty to be open and frank about the evidence against you and they will not usually reveal this until much later. They may hope that you come to them with a full account to help their case, but it's important to remember that they do not open an investigation until they have already formed a view that you may be guilty. This means that their goal is often already for you to be convicted and sentenced, not just to find out what has happened. Trying to help them, or refusing your right to a lawyer, doesn't speed things up, and generally puts you at greater risk.

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