Fraud by False Representation Solicitors
If you or your business are under investigation, have been invited for an interview with an investigating authority, or have been accused of committing fraud by false representation, the Business Crime and Regulation team at JMW Solicitors can help.
Allegations of fraud are very serious and can incur significant penalties. As such, it is vitally important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. By contacting a specialist fraud solicitor, you can build your defence, secure representation and protect yourself and your organisation.
JMW has been recognised by the Legal 500 and the Chambers and Partners guide for our excellent service. Our expert team has significant experience with fraud cases of all types and will work diligently to defend you and your business under even the most complicated circumstances. We have extensive knowledge of this area of the law and a track record of success in defending individuals accused of fraud-related offences.
To speak to the skilled false representation fraud solicitors at JMW and discuss your circumstances, call us today on 0345 872 6666, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will call you back at a convenient time for you.
How JMW Can Help
The team at JMW has a wealth of experience in representing people and businesses who have been accused of fraud by false representation, or other types of fraudulent activity.
As a full-service law firm, we can tailor the services we provide to meet the exact needs of your case and ensure you receive the best possible defence. For example, as the subject of an investigation, you may find that your personal or business accounts are frozen and you cannot withdraw, transfer or access funds. This is often the result of Account Freezing Orders (AFOs) or restraint orders, and our team has in-depth knowledge of these powers and how to defend against them. In many cases, we have successfully petitioned to have AFOs lifted or varied, ensuring our clients can pay their living expenses or continue to trade.
Our areas of expertise in fraud cases include:
- Representation during interviews with investigating authorities
- Representation in court
- The Proceeds of Crime Act
- Search warrant and seizure of property services
- Account Freezing Orders (AFOs)
We have worked with businesses of all sizes on cases that vary widely in terms of complexity, which means that we are prepared to meet any eventuality during the progression of a case. We can offer expert advice and support you throughout all the stages of an investigation to build the strongest possible defence.
FAQs About Fraud by False Representation
What is fraud by false representation?
Fraud by false representation is a criminal offence in which a person or business makes dishonest statements about assets or money they claim to own for their own advantage. They may do this for financial gain, to put a business in a more favourable position, or to deliver another benefit for themselves or someone else.
To commit fraud by false representation, you must have been aware when you made the representation that it was untrue, or might be misleading. It must also be proved that you were acting dishonestly in order to make a gain for yourself, your business or a third party, or to cause a loss to another party.
This definition is relatively broad, and there are many criminal activities that may result in a charge of fraud by false representation, so it is important to speak to a solicitor if you are invited to an interview or subject to an AFO.
What activities can be considered fraud by false representation?
The crime of fraud by false representation can refer to a wide range of different activities, with only the dishonesty of the culprit as a common factor. Naturally, these acts vary in terms of severity and impact, but they are all covered by the definition of "fraud by false representation" under the Fraud Act (2006).
To illustrate this, we have listed some of the most common ways that people commit fraud by false representation below.
- Making false statements about the finances or status of a company
- Using a credit card that does not belong to you, or obtaining a credit card using inaccurate personal details
- Making a dishonest representation about an asset in order to sell it, including:
- saying that you own it or have permission to sell it when you do not
- saying that an item is in better condition than it really is
- Providing false details when applying for a bank loan or other business finance
The scale of the crime will determine the sentence you are likely to receive if convicted, and some types of fraud by false representation incur far greater penalties than others.
What sentence could I face if I am found guilty of false representation fraud?
According to the Fraud Act (2006), the maximum sentence for a charge of fraud by false representation is 10 years' imprisonment. Additionally, under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002), an investigating authority can apply to forfeit any funds that were generated through criminal activities.
However, fraud by false representation sentencing guidelines vary according to a number of factors, including the impact of the crime, the scale of the harm caused (or potential for harm), the convicted person's role and level of involvement in the fraud, and other considerations.
As such, it is impossible to estimate the type of sentence that could be given for a fraud by false representation conviction without information about the individual circumstances of a particular case.
How long does a fraud by false representation investigation take?
The length of an investigation will depend on the specific circumstances of the crime of which you are accused. Some cases may last for many years, and can be exceedingly complex.
If an investigating authority secures an AFO to freeze access to a bank or personal account, this has an upper limit of two years. By appealing to the Magistrates Court, these orders can also be varied or discharged in some cases, particularly if the authority that has exercised this power fails to make progress in its investigation.
This does not mean that the investigation will conclude after two years, but it incentivises law enforcement officials and other authorities to work quickly. For a more specific idea of how long your case is likely to take, speak to a solicitor.