After the Pandemic, a Furlough Fraud case should be the last thing for you to deal with.
Covid has ravaged business for 18 months. Now HMRC are on the hunt for businesses which they suspect of having broken the rules when they applied for grants.
This is terrifying for business owners, but you don’t have to despair. Our furlough fraud solicitors are here to help.
Government is now targeting the same businesses it has helped
Furlough fraud investigations can feel like a kick in the guts for people running businesses across the UK.
When the Pandemic struck, the government started in a constructive way trying to help businesses stay afloat.
Sadly it appears now to have switched to targeting businesses and their management with criminal investigations and prosecutions.
Business owners, many of them careful and responsible in their dealings, have found themselves threatened with a fraud case for the first time in their lives.
Even accounts and management staff are now finding themselves pulled into the mix, even if they were just carrying out their duties in a professional way.
All this stress and extra difficulty are happening while businesses are already battling through these tough times on a daily basis, many of them just to keep the doors open.
Business owners often have no experience of a fraud case
Since the Spring of 2020 businesses have had to struggle to stay alive. Government decisions and timings on lockdowns have sometimes seemed either indecisive or even unscientific.
The government handed out grants and actively encouraged businesses to apply for them. Some of those businesses will have found it hard to keep track of what was going on with their finances and paperwork with HMRC while they were fighting to survive. Now they find themselves having to justify everything they did as early as the start of the pandemic, which was a time of crisis.
Managers of those businesses will often have no experience of being investigated, which makes the whole thing harder and scarier to deal with. It also means they don’t know where to turn. They might go to their usual accountants, who aren’t likely to be specialists. Most people won’t know how to find a firm of specialist furlough fraud solicitors to help.
The right team can stop things spinning out of control
It is possible to bring the chaos and worry of an investigation under control.
The worry and sleepless nights thinking about what HMRC’s next move will be can be kept at bay if you know that you have specialist furlough fraud solicitors with experience and skill in this area dealing with it for you.
Knowing that you have advisors who know what to say to HMRC investigators to stop a case developing, and steer it to a peaceful conclusion can help remove the feeling of dread that these cases can bring.
Rather than just having bits of advice from a regular high street accountant, you will have a joined-up approach with both specialist furlough fraud lawyers and specialist fraud investigations accountants. This way you’re covered fully and have the best chance of avoiding not just prosecution but also huge financial penalties which HMRC officers can hand out.
A selection of some of our solicitors' cases:
Not guilty verdict - client exonerated
Court of Appeal
SFO v Unaoil - Victory in World's Biggest Bribery Case
Our client was accused of paying bribes for contracts to rebuild Iraq’s oil infrastructure. This case was reported as the World’s Biggest Bribe Scandal. Convictions were finally overturned by the Court of Appeal after we showed that the SFO did not disclose key evidence at trial.FraudBusiness Crime
A clinical approach to get the result you need
As soon as you get us on board, we go to work to reduce the damage that an HMRC furlough fraud investigation can cause. You have the immediate peace of mind that we have become the point of contact with HMRC, and that your problem has become our problem.
We bring in top ex-HMRC fraud investigators to work on your behalf alongside our specialist furlough fraud solicitors so that every move we make anticipates what HMRC are doing. We put together a narrative for HMRC so that it’s clear that your case shouldn’t result in heavy penalties or a prosecution.
If the case is already headed to court we assemble a team of barristers and expert witnesses with expertise in HMRC prosecutions to work with your furlough fraud solicitors team so that your case is not just well presented, but presented to win.
Our goal is to take away the feeling that things are inevitably heading towards a bad end, and instead restore your confidence and hope in the situation.
How you can start to improve the situation now
Call us and speak to one of our specialist furlough fraud solicitors. We’re here to help. We won’t judge and we know what steps to take to start to bring the situation under control.
Whatever you do, speak to a firm which has specialist furlough fraud solicitors. This work is not general fraud or criminal law.
Don’t despair. With the right advice, many of these cases don’t mean the end for a business.
Don’t assume that you can deal with this without specialist help. The stakes are simply too high.
Don’t talk to HMRC except through professional representatives. Once you say something to HMRC, it’s hard to go back on it. It’s important to get what your case will be communicated in the right way, and that means having lawyers.
Exceptional win rate - 72% of our clients win their cases
Our criminal solicitors fight to win our clients’ cases and the proof is our results. Where a client doesn’t admit the allegation we win at trial or get the case dropped beforehand in 72% of cases.*
We listen carefully
We listen to you and treat your situation as if we were in your shoes. We don’t hire staff unless they have this mindset. Every case is supervised by one of the firm’s directors.
We investigate thoroughly
We do our own thorough investigation and find the best way to present your case to the police, to the prosecutor, or finally to the jury. This means phone, letters, and aggressive advocacy on your behalf at every stage.
Our criminal solicitors never give up
We never give up, and we fight until we get the result. That can mean early mornings, late nights, and commitment to go the extra mile.
* 72% of clients' cases resulted in case being discontinued at investigation or court stage, or not guilty verdict after trial. Data from all criminal clients between 02.2017 and 08.2019 - excludes cases where the client admitted the offence and chose to plead guilty.
No-tricks fixed-fee pricing
We can usually offer a fixed fee instalment plan so you can plan for the expense, and so you can fund your case in stages while it is continuing.
Once we have an idea of what kind of case you are facing and what work that will be necessary, we will then be able to provide you with a fixed fee quote. This means that you know before you commit how much your case will cost.
Representation at interview or court hearings
Analysing the evidence & investigating
Conferences with your lawyers
Negotiating with police or prosecutors
Free case review - what do I get and how does it work?
Free time with a lawyer
You get dedicated time with one of our specialist criminal solicitors on the phone or in person, with no obligation, for free.
When we’re talking with you, we promise to be always non-judgmental and sensitive to what you’re going through.
Our criminal solicitors start by asking you questions so we can understand what’s going on, and we listen carefully to what you tell us.
How long will my free case review last?
In more serious or difficult situations we may need an hour or two in person to go through things with you properly.
Less serious cases
In some cases which are less serious or complex, it may be ten or twenty minutes on the phone.
Unable to help
If it’s obvious straight away that we wouldn’t be able to help, we’ll tell you straight away and point you in the right direction to find lawyers who can help.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can't find the answer you’re looking for, contact our leading Criminal Defence Solicitors
Will I go to prison for furlough fraud?
While it is possible to go to prison for furlough fraud, it is usually avoidable. Engaging early in the right way with HMRC is important, and knowing how to present the situation properly is essential.
Will having a lawyer speak to HMRC make me look guilty?
Absolutely not. HMRC investigators regularly deal with lawyers. In fact, HMRC often prefer having lawyers to to speak to as an intermediary with the taxpayer. This is because the lawyer will help the investigation be managed more efficiently.
Will my case go to court?
Many cases will be dealt with as a civil investigations and not go to court in the end, even cases where HMRC suspect fraud. While you may need a furlough fraud solicitor to assist, that doesn’t mean that the case will go to court. Even if you have an interview under caution, with the right advice and representation from a furlough fraud lawyer, you may avoid the case being charged and sent to court.
What is the maximum sentence for furlough fraud?
Furlough fraud if it is prosecuted under the Fraud Act 2006 has a theoretical maximum sentence of up to 10 years. These long sentences, however, are very rare. Many offences will result in non-custodial sentences, such as suspended sentences, probation orders or unpaid work. Even sentences that involve prison are unlikely to last longer than 5 years.
Send us a confidential message
We'll get back to you as soon as possible. We are happy to speak to you if you have a query, and either have a free consultation on the phone or in person if necessary.