A professional fraud client needs a bespoke service
A professional client under investigation for fraud has a wide range of issues to consider. The investigation itself is often overshadowed by the life changing consequences of prosecution. At a time when clear focussed, dispassionate thinking is required emotional responses about the future can cloud judgement. Clients sometimes take steps that are later regretted.
We usually find that the client has no idea at all how an investigation progresses, what are the key moments and crucially how best to reduce the potential damage and if possible avoid prosecution. They are in the dark as to what will happen next, how the investigators will behave and how the regulations and guidelines apply. We take a forensic approach to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the client’s case and then to develop a comprehensive strategy to deal with the case in the most effective way.
The range of clients affected
Clients who work in financial services, banking, teaching, law, medicine, social work are particularly vulnerable as charge or conviction can mean the end of their career. Taxi drivers will lose theri licence to carry the public if convicetd of dishonesty. Early intervention is essential; it is far better, and much cheaper, to avoid or divert from prosecution than to end up having to fight to clear a client’s name in the criminal courts.
Some recent cases
We have found that it is particularly important to pay careful attention to the individual circumstances of an an investigation. There may be factors that others have missed which have a central bearing on whether it is right to prosecute. In one recent £25,000 fraud we established that a client’s inability to process vitamin B12 led to memory deficiencies. This impacted on the evidence and we were able to persuade the prosecutors to withdraw the Crown Court prosecution. In another case where several members of a family were facing joint prosecution for a fraud of well over £100,000 we persuaded the investigators to withdraw charges where one of the participants suddenly died, provided arrangements were made to repay the overpayment.
Forensic evidence came to the aid of one recent client who denied having completed a document. We were able to show that the handwriting was some one elses and that he was not responsible for the false representation.
We advanced individual circumstances of a different nature to help a professional client to avoid prosecution. This was so even though the sum was well over that usually considered the threshold for prosecution.
Watching the detectives
We have over 20 years’ experience of handling fraud cases. We have found that although there are clear similarities in evidence and approach, every case requires different tactics and considerations. It is for this reason that we find it essential to make early contact with investigators. We do this to find their view of a client’s case. It helps to establish lines of communication as early as possible. This proves invaluable if we later wish to make representations against prosecution. Further we can keep the client fully informed as the evidence develops. We often obtain helpful information that is not apparent in the paperwork. This is put to good use when making representations.
We have travelled all over the country to represent professional client’s. There is no doubt that one of the factors investigators, detectives and prosecutors consider when deciding how to deal with a case, is the experience, knowledge, track record and commitment of a client’s legal representation.
We can provide advice by video link and telephone and will travel for interviews and face to face advice. Alternatively, we can see you at our London offices.
If you have a problem with a fraud investigation or prosecution, or you just want some preliminary advice please call our head of private crime, Keith Hollywood on 0208 986 8336 or e mail him on [email protected] there is no charge for an initial telephone assessment of your case.
You can find more white collar and financial fraud cases here.