Corporate and Financial Crime

Corporate financial crime
Legally reviewed by: Laura Smith

If you are under investigation for serious fraud or tax offences, it can turn your life upside down. Cartwright King’s corporate and financial crime lawyers provide the legal support you need to help you navigate fraud and tax investigations, protecting you from reputational damage and criminal charges.

Working with Cartwright King’s specialist fraud solicitors gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel. Our solicitors will advise you at every stage of your case. We know that charges for fraud and tax offences can be damaging to business and personal reputations. That’s why we will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and protecting individuals and businesses, ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout your case. When you need us most, we’ll be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.

Get in touch with Cartwright King’s Business Crime Team for specialist legal advice and assistance.

When Should You Contact Our Fraud Solicitors

Our Fraud Solicitors are able to offer advice and legal guidance to anyone who has received notice that they are being investigated for fraudulent activity. If you have received any of the following, it is paramount that you arrange legal representation: 

  • Notice you are under investigation
  • Received a freezing order, restraint or production order
  • Undergone a dawn raid
  • Invited to a police interview under caution
  • Faced with criminal prosecution

During these stressful times, we can help carry the burden of your ordeal. Our Fraud Solicitors can help you understand the processes you face and how best to proceed. 

The Different Types of Solicitors

Our Tax Investigation and Fraud Solicitors have many different types of fraud they can support individuals and businesses with:

Advance Fee Fraud

Advance Fee Fraud covers instances where customers are asked to pay for goods or services upfront, believing there is a financial benefit to this process. But, when it comes to the receipt of these paid-for goods or services, they never materialise. Our Fraud Solicitors can offer legal support to both individuals and businesses who are accused. 

Boiler Room Fraud

At Cartwright King, our Fraud Solicitors are also experienced in all cases of boiler room fraud. This type of investment fraud covers cases where shares have been sold on significantly overpriced, where in reality these shares are worthless or non-existent. Therefore, it is common for boiler room fraud to stem from cold callers promising extremely high returns that seem ‘too good to be true.’

Carousel Fraud

Carousel Fraud, also known as VAT Fraud or Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud (MTIC), covers instances where goods have been imported from EU countries. Often involving technical products such as mobile phones, Carousel Fraud cases identify cases where products have been purchased VAT-free but are sold at VAT-inclusive prices. The initial provider of the VAT-free products then vanishes, without paying the missing VAT to HMRC.

VAT Fraud cases are often complex, with many honest people getting innocently caught up along the way. Whether your business has become unknowingly involved or is faced with criminal proceedings, our Fraud Solicitors can help you.

Charity Fraud

Charity Fraud involves using deception to encourage others to make a donation, where these funds are instead embezzled and used dishonestly. Our Fraud Solicitors are able to represent you in these cases whether you are a trustee or employee, or whether you have been charged with internal or external fraudulent activity.

Internal charges include misusing charity credit cards, keeping donations and inaccurately recording expenses. Whereas, those who defraud a charity with which they have no connection face external charges, including using identity fraud to withdraw money from a charity.

Counterfeiting and Forgery

Counterfeiting and Forgery cases can range from faking particular documents, including land registration paperwork and passports to juridical documentation. Under acts, such as the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 and the Identity Documents Act 2010, businesses and individuals can be held accountable for their illicit actions. Our Fraud Solicitors have a wide understanding of the legislature under this type of fraud and can, therefore, offer thorough legal advice and representation.

Credit Card and Debit Card Fraud

Our Fraud Solicitors have a wealth of experience countering accusations of credit and debit card fraud. These cases can be extremely complex, especially when charges are brought. The prosecution team must provide evidence to suggest that actions have been carried out with criminal intent. However, this evidence must be admissible in court and collated via proper channels.

Diversion Fraud

Diversion Fraud is often an extremely damaging accusation categorized into inward and outward excise fraud. Regardless of the accusation you face, our Fraud Solicitors have the knowledge and experience to provide this specialist service.

Criminals perpetrate outward diversion fraud by illegally diverting goods meant for export to the EU back into the UK market. These duty-suspended products, typically high-tax items like alcohol, tobacco, and spirits, never reach their intended destination, instead slipping through the cracks and flooding the UK market. This elaborate scheme involves a network of players, including hauliers transporting the goods, distributors selling them, vendors stocking them, and even warehouse workers facilitating the diversion. The process involves forged documents, including accompanying administrative documents (AAD) and consignment notes, falsifying that the goods reached their intended destination.

Inward diversion fraud hinges on exploiting duty-suspended imports. Goods in the form of high-value items such as electronics or clothing, are imported from an EU warehouse with tax payments temporarily deferred. These goods are supposedly sent to a specific UK warehouse, documented on paperwork known as an Accompanying Administrative Document (AAD). However, the real intention is never to leave the UK market.

This scheme relies on a crucial loophole in that goods entering the UK receive checks en route. If the AAD and physical goods match, the import continues normally. The fraudsters, however, ensure a mismatch. This triggers diversion, allowing them to illegally place the goods into the UK market while avoiding excise duties. This deprives the government of revenue and creates an unfair advantage for these criminals. The perpetrators then apply forged warehouse stamps to cover their tracks.

False Accounting

The Theft Act 1968, Section 17 covers cases of fraud that fall under False Accounting. These offences include accounts that have been intentionally falsified, altered or inaccurately recorded, looking to provide deceptive records. Our Fraud Solicitors are able to advise businesses and individuals that face these allegations. Whether you are based in a large organisation or a smaller, family-run company, we have the expertise to represent you.

Investment Fraud

Fraudulent investment schemes promise investors lavish returns in short periods of time; however, they often repay investors with money from other investors or their own case. Common cases of investment fraud involve Ponzi or pyramid investments, and high-yield and land banking schemes. All regulated investment opportunities must comply with the Financial Services and Market Act 2000, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Therefore, if you face accusations of running one of these fraudulent investment schemes, Cartwright King can provide comprehensive protection through our Fraud Solicitors.

Fraud Against a Financial Institution

Banks and financial institutions can make allegations against businesses if they suspect fraudulent activity. In these instances, a business may find itself under police investigation where they receive an invite for voluntary interviews, as well as being subjected to those under caution. Legal representation is a must in these circumstances. Fortunately, at Cartwright King, we have the expertise to advise you through these allegations of fraud.

Income Tax Fraud

Cases involving Income Tax Fraud can quickly become extremely complex and, therefore, require the knowledge of specialist Fraud Solicitors. At Cartwright King, our team of lawyers comprises solicitors, accountants, computer forensic experts and electronic evidence experts, allowing us to advise you regarding your allegations. Our experience allows us to identify the limits of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) limits, protecting you from disclosing particular information.

Insider Dealing and Market Abuse

Presenting a robust case against Insider Dealing and Market Abuse requires experienced and highly skilled Fraud Solicitors. This type of fraud is particularly serious, with prison sentences and unlimited fines possible. Disclosing inside information about a business and’ tipping off’ unauthorised individuals can result in others trading off your advice. Regardless of how complex your allegations are, we can provide you with strong legal advice to formulate your strong defence.

Insurance and Benefits Fraud

If you need to defend the chargers of insurance and benefit fraud, Cartwright King Fraud Solicitors can provide you with experienced legal representation. These types of fraud can vary significantly, ranging from false claims to receive insurance payouts to collections of benefits you are not entitled to. If your business has become caught up in either insurance or benefits fraud, we can guide you through the entire case, working to achieve the most favourable conclusion.

Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud presents itself in misrepresentations of finances, embellishment of job roles, inflation of salaries, disguising unfavourable credit history and hiding debt. Many who struggle to get a footing on the property ladder commonly engage in it; however, many businesses can also face accusations of mortgage fraud.

Mortgage fraud is extremely serious, with prison sentences possible for those found guilty. During such cases, our Fraud Solicitors have the expertise and in-depth understanding to provide you with high-quality legal support.

Pensions Fraud

If your business is confronted with a complaint by a member of staff or the Pensions Regulator, our Corporate and Financial Crime Lawyers can assist and support you throughout your Pensions Fraud case. Whether your complaint is regarding a failure to comply with legislation or an investigation for evidence of a criminal offence, we can provide you with a robust defence.

Conspiracy to Defraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud

If you or a business are accused of committing fraud, the police can investigate under conspiracy to defraud or conspiracy to commit fraud. Conspiracy to defraud is a common-law offence with no specific definition. Instead, we can apply the term to a wide variety of allegations. Case law will consider the specifics of what each case entails.

Whereas conspiracy to commit fraud, is outlined in the Criminal law Act 1997 and the main three offences include fraud by representation, failure to disclose all information and abuse of a position. Regardless of the overarching reason for legal proceedings, legal representation is a necessity. 

The Penalties For Committing Fraud

Accusations of fraud resulting in police involvement and legal proceedings are incredibly serious. The penalties associated with committing fraud can vary from fines and community orders to lengthy prison sentences, 10 years for a guilty verdict to conspiracy to defraud. The severity of the punishment will depend on certain factors, these include:

  • Did you plan or premeditate the operation?
  • What damage was caused?
  • How long have these fraudulent activities been going on?
  • Were there attempts to dispose of or conceal evidence?
  • Do these actions link to larger-scale organised crime?

A court will also consider an individual or business’s cooperation, whether money gained through fraud has been returned and if there is evidence to show the behaviour stopped before police involvement before deciding on the penalty.

Why Work with Cartwright King’s Fraud Solicitors?

Our reputation for defending individuals and businesses against fraud and tax allegations stretches across the UK. Additionally, we have earned accreditation as a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top-tier law firm. Therefore, as our client, you benefit from the right advice and tenacious representation. With our expertise and track record, you can trust that your case is in capable hands. Expert representation is essential when it comes to a successful outcome for your case.

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about keeping you or your business out of trouble. That’s why we offer sound, honest, reliable legal advice. We aim to ensure that you understand your rights when facing allegations of fraud or tax violations.

Representation Against a Wide Range of Offences

Cartwright King can defend you, giving you peace of mind that your case is in good hands. Moreover, our Fraud Solicitors offer representation against a wide range of offences. These include complex, high-value business crime-fraud cases, tax evasion, VHCC (Very High-Cost Cases) arrangements, criminal fraud cases, and money laundering.

Furthermore, offering fraud defence services representing individuals, directors, partnerships, and limited companies, spanning a wide range of industries. Additionally, our Fraud Solicitors come highly recommended. They have been involved with some of the most high-profile cases that have been prosecuted by HMRC, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Financial Services Authority, and the Serious Fraud Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a HMRC Tax Investigation?

HMRC has the right to investigate you at any point to ensure that you are paying the right amount of tax. They may want to look into a number of areas of your business, including:

  • Firstly, the tax you pay
  • Your accounts and tax calculations 
  • Your Self Assessment tax return for a given year
  • Your company Tax Return
  • Your PAYE records and returns if you are an employer
  • Finally, you must maintain your VAT returns and records if you are VAT-registered.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that businesses often targeted by HMRC include construction, restaurants, doctors and dentists, and buy-to-lets. They are now looking at private security, property rentals, and specifically in the Midlands have special teams investigating the used motor trade, and those with hidden wealth.

What is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) founded in 2013, is an independent financial regulatory body. The FCA’s sole responsibility is to regulate financial firms by providing services to consumers, while ensuring that it maintains the overall standards of the UK’s financial markets.

More specifically, the FCA focuses on the conduct of retail and wholesale financial services firms.  

If certain standards are not met, the FCA has the authority to investigate both organisations and individuals. Once the investigation has taken place, they have the power to order firms to retract or modify promotions that they deem to be misleading and to ban financial products for up to a year, and potentially indefinitely.

What is cyber crime?

Cyber crime is an umbrella term for a number of different offences. It refers to crimes that either occur online or where technology is used for, or is the target of, an attack.

The internet has facilitated the rise of computer-based crime, therefore, making it one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the UK.

As a result, we acknowledge cybercrime as a major international issue.

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