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If you have been accused of fraudulent behaviour or are currently facing an official investigation, it’s essential that you seek immediate advice from a specialist fraud defence solicitor who can help mitigate the consequences of any action pursued against you.
This is an undoubtedly daunting time, so having a nationally respected expert on side to guide you through the investigation is key in securing the optimum outcome. Here at HCB, our dedicated fraud solicitors are renowned for our skill and determination. Throughout your case, you will be able to rely on one of our dedicated lawyers for strategic advice, definitive action and robust representation through court proceedings.
Why choose HCB’s fraud solicitors?
Here at HCB, we understand the disruption and stress that a fraud allegation or investigation can cause to your personal life as well as to your business. That’s why we offer immediate assistance and tailored legal advice as and when you need it. With vast experience assisting and defending those accused of fraud to success, you can rely on us to provide urgent support to protect your interests in the best way possible.
Along with a proven track record for success, the fraud specialists at HCB are equipped with the technical knowledge necessary to advise on complex criminal cases involving bribery, money laundering and corruption matters that require investigations to be conducted outside of UK borders. On the other hand, our team are well known for the exceptional level of care and commitment we give to domestic cases involving benefit fraud and VAT fraud. All in all, our goal is to achieve a fair solution as quickly as possible; allowing you to put the past to rest and continue running your business or supporting your family in peace.
How can HCB’s fraud solicitors help you?
Fraud allegations are taken very seriously by the courts, and if you are in this position, it’s likely that you will be served with a freezing/restraint proceedings forcing you to disclose your assets immediately. This is where assistance from a qualified professional is highly recommended; and that’s exactly where we can help.
HCB’s specialist team of fraud solicitors offers a vast array of fraud defence services throughout the region, which include but are not limited to;
Conspiracy to Defraud
Being investigated for conspiracy to defraud may not seem as serious as being charged with the act of fraud itself, however, conspiracy to defraud cases are among the most complex. Put simply; the conspiracy to defraud refers to the act of planning criminal activity which exposes a business/individual to loss or risk. It can also refer to the act of deceiving a person in a position of responsibility to act against his or her duty for your own gain. In either form, these cases can be particularly lengthy and complex, as the prosecution must be able to prove dishonesty. At HCB, our fraud solicitors understand how damaging an allegation of this nature can be. In many cases, people facing these allegations have little or no history of criminal activity, so this can create a black mark on their record as well as the risk of imprisonment. If this sounds familiar, do not hesitate in getting in touch with one of our serious fraud solicitors. We will be at hand for pragmatic legal support, building a solid defence based on your individual situation.
Counterfeiting Offences Trading Standards
While the British economy struggles, the pressure on society to buy designer products remains the same. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the counterfeiting of goods and currency has rocketed in recent years. The counterfeiting of designer or trademark goods involves applying a known trademark to a fake item or replication to sell it at less than market value, thus making a profit. The potential penalties for producing and selling counterfeit goods can be harsh, but the outcome will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances, your intent and the solicitor you instruct to prepare your defence. The same can be said for counterfeit currency charges, however, this is a much more serious offence.
To commit mortgage fraud is to obtain a mortgage loan in a fraudulent manner. This can generally be split into two categories: opportunistic mortgage fraud and large scale mortgage fraud. Opportunistic mortgage fraud occurs when an individual purchasing a house provides misleading or false information to a financial advisor and bank or building society in order to obtain a higher loan. An example of this would be stating a higher value of the property, or overstating your income. Large scale mortgage fraud, on the other hand, usually involves criminal groups or organisations operating on a multi-property basis. For instance, a criminal group may purchase a block of flats and secure larger loans for each by inflating the value of each property in the application. In many cases of large scale mortgage fraud, mortgage payments are not met and these properties become spaces used by a group for criminal activities. If you are facing the possibility of prosecution for mortgage fraud, it’s essential to seek the advice of a fraud solicitor as soon as possible. The nature of these cases can be complex, so it’s important you choose a specialist solicitor with experience defending mortgage fraud allegations to success.
Money Laundering is the act of concealing proceeds from criminal activity. However, the way in which this is achieved can vary greatly. In some cases, it only involves one individual laundering their own money. In others, it involves chains of companies and offshore accounts set up to “clean” the money acquired through criminal activity. The Crown Prosecution Service categorises money laundering into three processes:
- Placement: The placement of criminal money into the financial system.
- Layering: The moving of money through complex transactions, often through offshore accounts.
- Integration: The process in which criminal money is integrated into the economy through legitimate investments such as commercial property.
Investigations can involve many different agencies, vast amounts of potential evidence and a series of interviews of anyone suspected to be involved. At HCB, our specialist fraud defence solicitors see it as our duty to seek out and fight for those accused of money laundering. Our team will work to undermine the prosecution by dismantling the evidence against you, ensuring that the outcome accurately reflects your intent and the role you played in the offence.
Serious fraud cases are categorised this way due to the serious nature of the offence. As a result, these claims are investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, an independent department of the UK Government. In order for a serious fraud case to be taken on by the SFO, it must meet a certain criteria. In deciding, the Director of the SFO will consider:
- Cases in which the potential or actual loss was significantly high
- Cases that caused actual or potential harm to the victim
- Cases where there is a significant public interest element
- Cases in which there is a new species of fraud
This could include bribery and corruption, asset stripping, publishing false information, share scams, share ramping or fraudulent trading.
Being accused of serious fraud can lead to severe penalties, so seeking expert advice from one of our serious fraud solicitors as early as possible will allow us to begin working on your defence to secure a reasonable result.
The term’ tax fraud’ is given to any crime or offence relating to the manipulation of tax returns, false declarations or accounts created to avoid tax payment. Though criminal investigations by HMRC were once preserved for criminal groups abusing the tax system, the issue has become increasingly prevalent in modern times, and HMRC now focuses a great deal of attention on pursuing those creating offshore schemes and those who have invested in them. If HMRC so much as suspect an element of dishonesty in your disclosure, there is a high risk that an investigation will follow. At this stage, it’s vital that you seek legal support from an expert in tax law who can highlight the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the prosecutions case. The penalty following an investigation can result in a fine of up to 200% of the tax due, so acting quickly and securing robust representation as early as possible will be extremely beneficial. At HCB, our specialist team of fraud solicitors have vast experience defending both businesses and individuals facing tax investigations from HMRC. Along with our skill in this area of law, our team are well known for going above and beyond in protecting the interests of our clients.
Any investigation into financial fraud can cause a great deal of stress and concern to you, your family and potentially your business. The best thing you can do in this situation is to seek legal advice as early as possible in your case.
If you are currently facing an investigation into your alleged fraudulent offence, the dedicated team of fraud solicitors at HCB are equipped with the skill and determination to help fight against the charges, carefully unpicking the prosecution to build your defence. We will be at hand through each stage of the investigation, ensuring that the right action is taken at the right time.
The term ‘civil fraud’ is not used to describe one particular kind of fraud, but rather any case which involves fraudulent misrepresentation or deceit such as breach of contract, breaches of fiduciary duty or potentially breaches of trust in cases where a third party knowingly assisted the victim through a certain action which resulted in their loss. Simply put, civil fraud claims usually involve situations in which the offender has deliberately misrepresented facts upon which the victim relies on, leading them to suffer loss as a result. In civil fraud cases, the primary focus of the prosecution will be to secure financial redress for the victims involved, as opposed to bringing the offender to justice. If you are currently being faced with a claim of this nature, our civil fraud solicitors will tackle the claim hands on, assisting you to secure a fair outcome by providing robust representation.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud is a form of identity theft in which a person uses the credit card (or debit card) details of an unknowing individual to make purchases or withdraw money from the account. This is achieved either through the physical theft of the card or by a person obtaining the cardholder’s personal information such as their security number and name or address. This approach is now increasingly common, with fraudsters taking advantage of the rise in modern technology to electronically intercept a cardholder’s account information. The manner in which credit card fraud is accomplished will significantly affect the potential penalties and outcome of an investigation; for instance, using a stolen card to purchase items totalling a cost of less than £100 may be seen as a misdemeanour, whereas repeated offences and higher amounts spent can result in a potential sentence of several years. Credit card fraud is a serious offence, so it’s recommended that you seek advice and representation from a specialist fraud solicitor who can build a strong and successful defence on your behalf.
Here in the UK, the government offers income support and tax credits to those on low income, those supporting children or those unable to work. This is what’s known as ‘benefits’, and those eligible may claim benefits through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). However, in some cases, those looking to claim more benefits than they are entitled to provide false information to the DWP. In doing so, they commit benefit fraud. However, the issue here is that not all cases of benefit fraud are intentional, and genuine mistakes made by individuals could potentially be treated as fraudulent by the courts. A benefit fraud accusation can cause significant financial and emotional distress for you and your family and the penalty can be severe, so it’s important to consider your next moves carefully. At HCB, our expert benefit fraud solicitors are passionate about helping those accused by providing tactical legal advice throughout an investigation and hands-on support through court proceedings.