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If you or your business are under investigation, have been arrested, invited for a voluntary interview, charged or face proceedings for any allegations relating to fraud, our specialist team at JMW can provide the expert, advice, assistance and representation. We have been and are involved in some of the biggest Business Crime investigations and prosecutions, and are ranked as a Top Tier Fraud Firm by the Legal 500, as well as Chambers and Partners.
You should contact JMW immediately if you:
- have received a notice that you are under investigation;
- have received a restraint, production or freezing order;
- have been the subject of a dawn raid;
- have been invited to an interview under caution;
- face a criminal prosecution;
Contact our specialist fraud solicitors today to discuss your situation in more detail - we offer a free initial consultation for all cases. Call us on 0800 652 5559 or complete our online enquiry form to request a call back.
How JMW Can Help
We work with our clients to achieve the best possible service by combining the expertise of our team. Due to the complex nature of such cases, it is often vital to put together a comprehensive defence team consisting of solicitors as well as other experts or professionals.
We can help you form the strongest possible team, which may include:
- Financial service professionals
- Specialist counsel
- Forensic computer experts
- Litigation support consultants
- Reputation management experts
- Media law advisors
We have successfully defended and advised individuals, business owners, directors and high-level individuals in alleged fraud investigations and prosecutions.
For your case to stand the best chance of success, you should seek our legal advice from the moment you are informed that you are under investigation. However, we are able to provide guidance and representation at any point during your case.
Our Areas of Expertise
The serious fraud department has a vast amount of experience, and regularly deals with cases involving a wide variety of fraud allegations nationwide and those with international elements.
People can unwittingly fall victim to banking fraud or become involved in deceitful transactions, which can result in allegations of fraud. There are many types of banking fraud, including:
- Bank card fraud
- Cheque fraud
- Counterfeit cheque fraud
- False accounting fraud
- Prime bank guarantee fraud
- Account takeover
- Bank account fraud
- Email fraud
At JMW, we represent individuals accused of banking fraud, customers who have been a victim of banking fraud and wish to recover assets of compensation*, and companies and financial institutions connected with banking fraud as complainants or suspects.
We act fast to secure the necessary evidence to ensure that facts can be properly established. Many individuals and companies can be improperly linked to suspicious financial activity or can suffer unnecessary loss because the appropriate action is not taken at an early stage.
*Please note that we do not offer a free advice service or ‘no win no fee’ funding to consumers wishing to complain about the service offered by their bank. Our representation is offered in the context of identifiable banking fraud and asset recovery. If you are in doubt, we will happily discuss your requirements, but we may point you to an alternative service.
Boiler Room Fraud
Boiler room fraud relates to the selling of shares that are heavily overpriced, worthless or fabricated. A fraudster will offer people the chance to invest in these shares with the promise of high returns.
There is usually a fine distinction between a fraudulent investment and one that is simply unsuccessful. Our solicitors will advise you on the action to take, as we know that legitimate professionals and businesses can be unfairly scrutinised and unwittingly become accused.
The most common charge for boiler room fraud is a conspiracy to defraud, which essentially means an agreement to defraud someone. In such cases, it is the role of the prosecution to prove dishonesty, and a conviction cannot be made without this proof. For more information on conspiracy to defraud, take a look at our dedicated page.
There are many types of fraud that a business can face, some of which results in accusations against a company. We have helped many businesses faced with these allegations protect their interests and mount a defence that limits or avoids the impact company fraud can have.
Examples of the cases we have advised and represented clients on include:
- Carousel fraud
- Computer fraud
- Diversion fraud
- False accounting
- Insider dealing and market abuse
- Pension fraud
- Performance fraud and accounting investigations
Income Tax Fraud
Income tax fraud is investigated by HMRC, which has a specialist office tasked with investigating evasion worth between £75,000 and £500,000. Cases involving more than £500,000 are taken care of by the Specialist Investigation Office.
Allegations of income tax fraud are serious and require the knowledge and experience of a specialist team. Our solicitors regularly handle HMRC requests for disclosure, and we have a comprehensive understanding of the limits to the powers of HMRC and can protect you from disclosing information that you are not obliged to reveal.
We can advise on the legality of the methods undertaken by HMRC to obtain information and explain the protections and challenges that are available to you. We will use our knowledge and experience to make sure any disputes are conducted fairly and commercially.
Fraudulent investment schemes make lavish promises to investors, assuring them that they will make a lot of money very quickly. In most cases, there is rarely a real investment to be made, with shares or products being fabricated.
Scammers will take an investor’s money, leaving the investor in financial difficulty. Typical fraudulent investment schemes might include Ponzi or pyramid investments, land banking schemes, and high-yield schemes.
Charges of investment fraud are very serious and require expert legal help. We have helped many people successfully defend against allegations of operating fraudulent investment schemes. We help by:
- providing advice during interviews held under caution;
- responding to any dawn raids;
- developing legal arguments;
- building a defence case and obtaining evidence.
All investment schemes are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with investment activity required to comply with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Regulated activities include:
- Accepting deposits
- Managing investments
- Advising on investments
- Establishing certain types of pensions
- Advising on/arranging home finances
The vast majority of our clients are legitimate individuals and firms who became unwittingly involved with a fraudulent investment scheme. In some cases, business names and identities are stolen or cloned.
Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud
Allegations of missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud are highly damaging, and charges can result in large fines and even custodial sentences. It is imperative that you seek legal advice and representation to give you the best chance of reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
MTIC fraud is similar to carousel fraud and involves the theft of VAT. Those involved in MTIC schemes will import goods VAT-free, sell them on to domestic buyers with the VAT added, and keep the tax rather than pay it to the government as they are legally required to do.
Unfortunately, it is very easy for innocent parties to become embroiled in fraudulent trading schemes, particularly if there are many different suppliers in a chain and there is not much face-to-face contact between firms working together.
We have represented many people who have become unwittingly involved in MTIC as they were acting as the middleman in a supply chain; in most schemes, it is only the importer and exporter who are knowingly committing an offence.
What are the Penalties for Committing Fraud?
The penalties related to fraud range from community orders and fines to custodial sentences. The punishment faced for committing fraud depends on a number of factors, including:
- The act of fraud being part of a planned or premeditated operation
- What damage was caused by the act of fraud - for example, financial loss
- How long fraudulent activities were carried out for
- Any attempts to conceal or dispose of evidence
- Whether the act of fraud has funded large-scale organised crime, such as drugs or human trafficking
There are other factors that may be taken into account when a sentence is being considered that may reduce the penalty given out by the judge. These include:
- Cooperating with investigating authorities
- Voluntarily giving back the money taken through fraudulent means
- Providing evidence to show that fraudulent behaviour was stopped before being caught
Talk to Us
In serious fraud cases, seeking legal advice quickly is absolutely essential and can make the difference between being seen as a victim or a defendant.
Partner and Head of Department
Business Crime, Regulation & Driving Offences