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Fraud Defence Solicitors
If you or your business are under investigation, have been arrested, invited for a voluntary interview or face proceedings for any allegations relating to fraud, our specialist team at JMW can provide expert advice, assistance and representation.
We have been and are involved in some of the biggest business crime and serious fraud investigations and prosecutions, and are ranked as a Top Tier Fraud Firm by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.
The most common types of offences we have provided advice, assistance and representation for individuals and businesses include:
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; or
- 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 fill in 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
Our team has 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.
Conspiracy to Defraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud
With many fraud investigations, if charges are authorised, the charge is most likely to be conspiracy to defraud or conspiracy to commit fraud. However, other criminal defences may be alleged in the alternative or as additional offences.
If you have been charged with a conspiracy relating to fraud, this essentially means an agreement to defraud someone, it is one of the most common charges for this type of fraud. Importantly, it is the job of the prosecution in such cases to prove that you were party to an agreement to commit an offence and that you have acted dishonestly. Further details can be found on our dedicated page.
At JMW, our expert solicitors can help you build the best possible defence and, in some instances, prevent criminal proceedings altogether.
If you or your business are under investigation, have been arrested, invited for a voluntary interview under caution, charged or face proceedings for any allegations relating to fraud, our specialist team can provide expert advice, assistance and representation.
Types of Fraud Offences
The fraud department has a vast amount of experience, and regularly deals with cases involving a wide variety of fraud allegations nationwide as well as those with international elements.
Advance fee fraud involves asking people to make payment for goods or services upfront or in advance, often believing they will stand to benefit financially as a result. However, the anticipated goods, services or money never materialise. We can provide legal assistance to individuals and businesses accused of advance fee fraud or any other form of fraud against a financial institution or individual.
We can advise, assist and represent you in relation to any criminal allegation of fraud. Such offences are normally charged as conspiracy to defraud or fraud by false representation.
We provide services to assist in the defence against boiler room fraud in all its forms, regardless of the complexity of the case. Boiler room fraud relates to the selling of shares that are heavily overpriced, worthless or, in very serious cases, completely non-existent. Such offences may involve a ‘cold call’ from an individual who offers the chance to invest in shares; they'll promise high returns that sound too good to be true, and usually are.
We understand that sometimes there is an incredibly fine line in determining whether an investment scheme is fraudulent or one that is simply unsuccessful, and can advise you on the right action to take. We know that legitimate professionals and businesses can be unfairly scrutinised when such an investigation takes place and JMW is here to protect you.
If you or your company has been accused of running a boiler room fraud scheme, JMW can provide expert legal representation to help you defend against the charges. We have great knowledge and experience in this often complex area of law and will help you through every stage of the process.
We are able to assist and represent you with regard to any charges associated with carousel and VAT fraud. Carousel fraud, also known as missing trader intra community fraud (MTIC), typically involves the importation of high-value technical goods, such as mobile phones, from European Union (EU) countries. These goods are initially purchased VAT-free, but are sold on by UK traders at VAT-inclusive prices.
The original trader, or a trader somewhere along the chain, then disappears without paying VAT to HMRC. In some situations goods are then sold back to another EU country and the exporter reclaims VAT from HMRC.
It is very easy for honest traders to get caught up in carousel fraud, as often the perpetrators of the fraud include a number of legitimate businesses in the chain in order to avoid arousing suspicion. Traders can also find themselves under suspicion of carousel fraud purely because they have started to import high-value goods.
We have represented many people who became unwittingly involved in missing trader fraud as they were the middle man in a supply chain; in most schemes of this kind, it is only the importer and exporter at either end who are knowingly committing the offence.
If you or your business is under investigation or faces criminal proceedings, our expert team can help. Regardless of the complexity of the case, we can help you build the strongest possible defence and give you the best chance of a successful outcome, enabling you to get on with the important matter of running your business.
If you are being investigated or accused of committing charity fraud, our specialist team of solicitors is here to help. We can provide advice and representation if you are an employee or trustee of the charity, or if you normally have no dealings with the charity but have been charged with committing external fraud against it.
We can support individuals and businesses who have been accused of defrauding a charity or have worked with a charity in a number of ways, including keeping donations for themselves, misusing charity credit cards or bank accounts and deliberately claiming inaccurate expenses.
In addition, we can represent those who have been accused of defrauding a charity with which they have no connection in the following ways: using false invoices to get money from a charity, using identity fraud to obtain money from a charity bank account, running phishing scams and fraudulent fundraising in a charity’s name.
To find out more about how our expert team can help you build a successful defence against accusations of charity fraud, get in touch today by calling us on 0800 652 5559 or by completing our online enquiry form and allowing us to give you a call back.
We can help defend against all charges related to credit card fraud and we have a deep understanding of how to counter any accusations. Credit/debit card fraud can be incredibly complex and if related charges are brought, the prosecution must prove that actions amount to criminal conduct, the evidence is admissible and the evidence has been collected using the proper powers.
It can be difficult to prosecute for credit/debit card fraud as it can be hard to prove that someone deliberately set out to deceive and commit fraud. As well as this, it must be shown that any evidence has forensic integrity. This means the evidence has been collected properly, the evidence is admissible and the evidence has been properly attributed to the correct person.
Instances of credit card fraud and identity fraud have increased in recent years, and during this time, our team has honed its skills in defending people against complex charges.
Our credit card fraud defence solicitors can deal with cases involving a large number of transactions and accounts, and have experience in both traditional identity fraud as well as more technical cases involving triangulation and false merchant sites.
If allegations have been made against you or your company relating to diversion fraud, JMW can provide the specialist representation you need. We are vastly experienced in helping people to successfully defend against such serious and damaging accusations.
Diversion fraud is often referred to as outward or inward excise fraud, and it involves the illegal diversion of goods into the UK when they are destined for elsewhere. For example, the import or export of prohibited products, as well as wine, beer, spirits and cigarettes.
In some cases of diversion fraud, a number of people in the chain of goods are involved in the scam, but in others, people and businesses can inadvertently be drawn into fraudulent activity. We are able to assist in cases of both types of diversion fraud.
Outward diversion fraud
In cases of diversion fraud, goods supposed to be heading to UK warehouses for onward export into the European Union (EU) are unlawfully diverted into the UK market. Goods involved in this kind of fraud will be being moved under duty suspension and can involve warehouse operatives, hauliers, vendors and distributors.
Fraud of this type has one key aspect: the falsification of the accompanying administrative document (AAD), which is sent alongside goods and guarantees the duty involved. As well as this, the consignment note, often referred to as the convention merchandises routiers (CMR), is forged and will fraudulently confirm that goods have reached their destination.
Inward diversion fraud
Inward diversion fraud is when duty suspended goods are imported from a warehouse in the EU and are supposedly bound for a warehouse in the UK. If the consignment is checked en route, the goods are only able to reach the warehouse if they are specified in documents in accordance with the AAD.
If this does not happen, the goods are diverted to the UK market, even though the excise payment has not been made. A false warehouse stamp is then applied to the goods to make it appear as though they have been delivered in accordance with the law.
We have worked on many cases of both inward and outward diversion fraud, some involving very large numbers of defendants and witnesses and many involving months of court litigation.
False accounting is defined under Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 as an offence that involves an individual intentionally falsifying, altering or submitting false, inaccurate or deceptive records for accounting purposes.
JMW provides expert advice, assistance and representation to businesses and individuals facing accusations of false accounting. We have helped many people charged with false accounting, from those in large businesses to others in smaller, family-run outfits, and can help organisations from across the UK.
To read more about false accounting, visit our dedicated page.
If you or your business are under investigation, or you are facing allegations of forgery or counterfeiting, JMW’s expert defence solicitors are here to provide expert advice, assistance and representation.
To read more about forgery and counterfeiting, visit our dedicated page.
Fraud against a financial institution
If you or your business are under investigation, or you have been arrested, invited for a voluntary interview, charged or face proceedings for any allegations relating to fraud against a bank or other financial institution, the specialist team at JMW can provide expert advice, assistance and representation.
To read more about fraud against a financial institution, visit our fraud against a financial institution page.
We are able to provide advice, assistance and representation at any stage in defending you or your business in relation to an investigation or proceedings relating to a fraudulent investment scheme. Such schemes make lavish promises to investors, assuring them that they will make a lot of money very quickly, but in most cases, investors are repaid with their own case or money invested by others in good faith.
Typical schemes might include Ponzi or pyramid investments, land banking schemes and high-yield schemes. If facing allegations of involvement in such schemes, we can help by:
- Advising you during interviews held under caution
- Responding to any dawn raids
- Developing legal arguments
- Building your case and obtaining defence evidence
All investment schemes are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is aware of all of the firms that are legitimately able to offer investment schemes to the public. All regulated investment activity must comply with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Regulated activities include accepting deposits, managing investments, advising investments, establishing certain types of pensions, and advising on/arranging home finances.
If you or your business have been accused of operating fraudulent investment schemes, the expert solicitors at JMW can offer you comprehensive protection. Charges for being found guilty can be very serious, including hefty fines and even imprisonment, and so it is important you have access to a legal team highly experienced in this area of law.
Allegations of income tax fraud are serious and require the knowledge and experience of a specialist team. When dealing with income tax fraud allegations, we will put together a team of experts with the required expertise, including solicitors, computer forensic experts, accountants and electronic evidence experts.
Income tax fraud is investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which has a specialist office tasked with investigating evasion worth between £75,000 and £500,000. For cases involving alleged evasion of more than £500,000, there is a Specialist Investigation Office.
Our solicitors have experience in dealing with 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.
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 in the fairest, cheapest and least stressful way for you, enabling you to progress with the important matter of running your business.
Insider dealing and market abuse are among the most serious business crimes that a company or individual can be charged with. If you or the company you work for are facing allegations of insider trading and market manipulation, a robust defence is vital.
For more information, visit our insider dealing and market abuse page.
If you or your business have been accused of committing either insurance or benefit fraud, JMW can provide the support and representation you need to successfully defend the charges. Our insurance and benefit fraud solicitors have vast experience in this area of fraud and we can create a robust and bespoke defence to fight your corner.
Insurance and benefit fraud can come in many different forms. People may make claims for insurance payouts or benefit payments to which they are not entitled, or they may fabricate a situation to get a payout. We can provide assistance if your business has become embroiled in any type of insurance or benefit fraud, supporting you from the very beginning through to the conclusion.
Accusations of insurance and benefit fraud need to be taken very seriously and dealt with correctly. It is, therefore, imperative to seek expert legal help to give yourself the best opportunity of securing a favourable outcome.
For more information about how our insurance fraud solicitors can defend you or your business, speak to our team in confidence today. Call us now on 0800 652 5559, or leave your details via our online enquiry form and we will give you a call back at a convenient time.
Mortgage fraud can be apparent in a significant number of mortgage applications each year, and this can often be attributed to the various difficulties faced by many people when trying to get a foot on the property ladder.
Examples of mortgage fraud include:
- Misrepresenting finances
- Embellishment of employment status
- Misrepresenting salary figures
- Masking poor credit history
- Hiding credit card debt or other debt
If you or your business have been accused of mortgage fraud, the experienced solicitors at JMW can provide the expert advice and representation you need. Mortgage fraud is a criminal offence and a conviction can result in a prison sentence, as well as a credit rating that is damaged beyond repair. This can make obtaining credit or any other financial deal difficult for life.
If you are facing an investigation by the Pensions Ombudsman following a complaint by a member being made or the Pensions Regulator due to criminal allegations being made, we can advise, assist and represent you at every stage. Whether it is a complaint by an individual member of a pension scheme for failing to comply with the regulations or legislation, or an investigation for criminal offences, JMW has expert solicitors who can assist.
Our expert solicitors will put together a robust defence team who will be able to advise, assist and represent you during the investigation stage, defend you should any criminal offences be brought and prepare your case for trial.
To speak to a solicitor about complaints or allegations of pension fraud that you are facing, contact us today by calling 0800 652 5559, or fill in our online enquiry form and we will get back to you.
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, which can include:
- 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