Financial Crime is technical – our Fraud Solicitors are here to help

Being accused of fraud is an ordeal that is hard to describe, but even harder to live through. It’s a threat which can seem to only get worse, not better.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Our specialist fraud lawyers are here to get the situation under control, and turn the tide in your favour so that you can get your life back to normal.


Recent success stories
Cambridge Analytica/Facebook Case - No Charges
Investigation discontinued with no further action
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Not guilty verdict - client exonerated

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Table of contents

A fraud allegation can feel like a cloud over your life. It can be a shock if the allegation is very different from what really happened. Most people in this situation have no previous convictions. They never expected to be a criminal suspect. They may be naive about how to deal with investigators. That puts them at risk of making mistakes.

After the ordeal of an interview under caution, other worries can kick in: The possibility of a trial, fear of prison or of losing your home and other assets. That's before considering what can happen to your reputation and long term plans.

There is the worry about family. They are innocent but investigators are usually unsympathetic. Family members can sometimes even become suspects, bringing the whole situation to another level of frustration.

Fraud investigations move very slowly, and it can feel like your life stops until you know what the outcome is. Not knowing how the law and procedure works makes it all more intimidating.

People often don't realise straight away that in these cases the system is stacked against an accused person. Assets can be restrained. Records can be seized. Accounts can be frozen. The slow pace of proceedings just makes everything more painful.

Fraud is also often investigated unfairly. Investigators can take a simplistic approach: Whoever was on documents or accounts must be guilty. People can feel they're being targeted just because a business has failed, and they're expected to justify documents and figures, often years later.

A sad aspect of these cases that fraud solicitors see a lot is that people can be prosecuted for the actions of someone else, often when the one who really benefited is nowhere to be seen. In some cases, people at different levels of an organisation often don't know what people at other levels might have been up to. In every large fraud case, there are usually one or two defendants who are only there because they trusted a friend or colleague.

You don’t have to accept getting dragged into a fraud case as the final outcome. Things can be done to make the situation better.

Having specialist fraud solicitors working for you early on is a step to getting things moving in a better direction.

Experienced lawyers can push investigators for disclosure so that you understand the allegation fully. They can investigate the evidence and look at what has been missed by investigators, especially if it relates to the people who are really responsible.

Then they can try to change the narrative. If you’re not supposed to be in this situation, understanding the evidence is key. An organised team of solicitors will spend time with you so that they can show why your explanations need to be listened to.

Expert fraud lawyers will also assemble a team of barristers and forensic accountants to help present your case.

The feeling that the situation is out of control should reduce. Powerlessness is replaced by optimism.

 

Our nationally recognised fraud lawyers take some of the frustration away by working for you to feel informed, organised and empowered.

It starts with listening to you. We try to understand exactly how this is affecting you, and what you want from the situation. This way our fraud solicitors can support you and tailor the next steps so you get what you need.

We engage with the investigators, prosecutors and the court. We ask if the case against you even has to continue. If there are weaknesses in the case, our fraud lawyers investigate to expose why the prosecution is wrong.

We request evidence. If it is not provided we demand it. The investigators and the court will be on notice that the time for treating you as collateral damage is over.

We put together a team of experts to fight your case: Top KC barristers, forensic accountants and expert witnesses. By the time of the trial, our fraud solicitors will make you feel that absolutely everything has been done to get the win.

  • Contact us and speak to one of our specialist fraud solicitors confidentially – we can meet you in person or on secure encrypted videocall, often the same day.

  • Don’t despair. If you’re suffering major stress speak to a close family member for support and go to your GP.

  • Don’t speak to investigators except through lawyers.

  • Don’t discuss the allegation with colleagues or associates unless you 100% trust them.

  • Don’t write any emails or other messages about the case.

  • Save your emails and any texts or business records from the period which is in question.

  • Be proactive about your case. Read all the statements or evidence which is available to you.

  • Don’t transfer any assets to anyone else to try to protect them from being seized. It’s illegal and it doesn’t work.

  • Make sure that any family and friends who could be investigated also speak to us. We can either assist them ourselves or refer them to specialist colleagues.

FAQS

Frequently asked questions

Fraud investigations often take a long time. It is not unusual for investigators to take 2 to 4 years before they decide whether to take a case to court. In serious fraud cases, it can be a further 1 to 2 years before the case reaches trial. A trial in a fraud case can take anything from a few weeks to several months, depending on how many defendants there are and how complex the case is.

You have a number of options if you’re charged with a fraud offence. You should try to fund your case as well as your circumstances allow you to have the best chance of getting a positive result in the end. If you or your company had legal expenses insurance, that is always something to check in the first instance. This is sometimes called Directors and Officers Insurance or D&O. Your other options are to fund the case privately or apply for legal aid. Private funding usually means more resources allocated to the case and is a very good idea in the investigation stage. If the case reaches the Crown Court, private funding can cost significant money. Talk to your fraud solicitors about whether fees can be managed in stages or whether legal aid is a better option. Legal aid representation in a fraud case with a good firm may still be a good option, although you may still have to pay a contribution to these fees to the Legal Aid Agency.

If you’re convicted in a high value fraud or financial case then there is the possibility of assets being confiscated as the ‘Proceeds of Crime’. It isn’t a foregone conclusion. Ask your fraud lawyers to advise you fully on this.

Prosecutors are not supposed to target family members unless there is evidence that they were involved, but sadly they often do. Sometimes it’s because they’ve made a mistake, but they have been known to do it to put undue pressure on the defendant they really want to plead guilty. This is a reason that you and family members who are at risk MUST take advice from properly experienced fraud solicitors.

If the case you want to put forward doesn’t contradict theirs you may be properly represented by the same fraud solicitor, but this should be a carefully thought out decision.

Delay is a frustrating part of the system as it currently works. As a result, what a member of the public might call delay isn’t in the fraud law sector out of the ordinary. Only very, very long delays resulting in you not being able to defend yourself properly are usually considered as reasons to stop the case.

Suing prosecutors or investigators for bringing a case against you is very hard to do successfully. A person would usually have to show strong evidence of something blatantly corrupt about the prosecutor’s behaviour, such as lying to the court or fabricating evidence, or some other type of malicious behaviour. It’s not impossible, but should only be considered in the context of thoroughly preparing and winning the main case you're facing first.

If a person is charged with other people, he or she doesn’t have to have known all of the parties in the case to be liable.

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