Serious Fraud Solicitors & SFO Investigations
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Serious Fraud & SFO Defence Solicitors: Serious Fraud Investigations
Our Serious Fraud Solicitors help countless individuals and businesses navigate through this complex area of the law.
These allegations can be extremely damaging to you and your business. We would urge you to seek immediate legal advice to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, and preferably without the need for legal proceedings.
Clifford Johnston & Co. has a wealth of experience in this area and can provide you with the immediate specialist advice that you may need to clear your name. Our specialist lawyers have a proven track record of successful serious fraud defence, so please contact our solicitors today.
In the event that you are facing serious fraud investigations, engaging the services of Clifford Johnston and Co. offers you the optimum chance of securing a positive outcome. Our credentials speak for themselves, having seen us shortlisted as finalists for Crime Team of the year at the Manchester Legal Awards in both 2019 and 2020.
What is a serious fraud offence?
An offence of serious fraud involves acting dishonestly and wilfully to mislead an individual or business for significant, high-value gain. It is committed by providing false information or failing to disclose information and includes:
Fraud of this nature uses deception to convince an investor to part with their money or savings and typically includes pyramid schemes, boiler room operations, advance fee payments, and other types of financial crime.
Corporate fraud includes crimes committed by a corporation or business to deliberately misrepresent the company’s financial status or activities. This can include tax fraud, asset stripping or fraudulent trading. Other offences, such as a corporation’s failure to prevent the facilitation of overseas tax evasion.
Bribery and Corruption
Any activity that aims to influence the behaviour of another or that seeks to gain a significant advantage through unlawful and illegal means may be deemed to be an act of bribery and corruption.
These crimes are often known as white-collar crimes, in reference to the business professionals that are typically involved. They are often high-profile due to the significant levels of public interest and the amounts of money involved. We have first-hand experience of dealing with cases such as this and will act with the utmost discretion to protect the reputations of you and your company.
Benefit fraud is a type of criminal fraud that involves an individual claiming more money than they are entitled to in the form of government benefits. This may include Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit, or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
What are the penalties for being accused of Serious Fraud?
Allegations of fraud must be taken seriously, as the penalties, especially for high-value cases, are severe. Custodial sentences and significant fines are likely if convicted so it is imperative that you instruct fraud specialists with the expertise and experience to effectively defend your position.
Sentencing will consider both the impact and the financial harm caused to any victims as well as the scale of the fraudulent activity and how far-reaching the consequences are.
What can I expect from a Serious Fraud Investigation?
If you are facing allegations or charges of serious fraud, you will most likely be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), an independent government agency that works closely with the police to consider and prosecute serious and complex fraud, bribery and corruption.
The SFO will consider the intended or actual harm that may be caused to:
- The public
- The reputation and integrity of the UK as a financial centre
- The economy and prosperity of the UK
The SFO will also consider:
- How significant the potential financial loss is
- If the case is in the public interest
- If the case constitutes a new type of fraud
The SFO has the power to investigate and prosecute their cases due to the complexity involved so instructing specialist SFO Lawyers to help you is vital.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) may also be involved in the investigations as they are often tasked with fighting organised crime such as:
- Fraud and money laundering involving large organised crime networks
- Bribery and Corruption
- Human trafficking and modern-day slavery
Can I be subject to overlapping fraud investigations?
Depending on the type and severity of the alleged offence, you may be investigated by different agencies, often at the same time. The SFO is the most common agency to take over serious fraud investigations, but more regulated professionals may be investigated by other agencies too, such as:
- Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
- National Crime Agency (NCA)
- HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
It is crucial to have the support of expert Serious Fraud Solicitors when dealing with overlapping fraud investigations by multiple agencies. Each of them may focus on a different aspect of the allegations, so being able to have a strong defence to address each issue in depth can really make the difference to your case. Contact Clifford Johnston & Co. today to assess your serious fraud case with an expert SFO solicitor.
What is a Section 2 interview for fraud?
Under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1987, someone accused of serious fraud may be subject to a Section 2 interview by the SFO. This type of interview is different from typical police interviews, and your rights do not apply in the same way.
You will be compelled to answer questions and cooperate with the SFO, and failure to do so may result in a criminal offence. These interviews are often extremely detailed, and span over multiple days.
Having experienced SFO Defence Lawyers on your side can make a significant difference. Our solicitors provide a comprehensive understanding of the Section 2 interview process and can offer crucial advice regarding what to expect and how best to respond. They also ensure that your interests are represented and safeguarded throughout the process, ensuring that the statutory powers of the SFO are not overstepped.
While it is certainly a challenging situation to be in, having knowledgeable and experienced legal support can make the process significantly more manageable. Our Serious Fraud Lawyers are experts in this field, and one of the reasons we are known nation-wide as one of the most effective criminal law firms in Manchester.
How can our Serious Fraud Solicitors help?
We have extensive experience in this area of law and have successfully resolved many allegations of serious fraud without the need for criminal proceedings.
We can represent you as soon as an allegation is made or from the date that you are first interviewed and we can prepare your case for court if required. We will also liaise with the authorities and enforcement agencies on your behalf including:
- The Serious Fraud Office
- The Department for Work and Pensions
- The Crown Prosecution Service
- HM Revenue and Customs
If you or your company faces prosecution, we can help you with deferred prosecution agreements (DPA) to suspend the prosecution in return for your company meeting certain conditions including:
- Changing certain work practices
- Paying fines
- Ensuring measures are put in place to prevent unlawful activity in the future.
Is fraud a civil or criminal matter?
Serious fraud is generally considered a criminal matter. In the United Kingdom, serious fraud can encompass a range of offences, such as fraudulent trading, money laundering, bribery, and embezzlement, among others. These are criminal offences that are typically prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). Convictions for serious fraud can result in substantial penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and asset confiscation.
However, it’s also important to note that some instances of fraud can result in civil litigation as well. This could happen if the party who has been defrauded chooses to sue the fraudulent party to recover their losses. This civil case would be separate from any criminal proceedings, but both could occur based on the same set of facts.
In any event, both civil and criminal cases involving fraud are serious matters that require expert legal representation. If you are facing allegations of serious fraud, it is strongly recommended to seek advice from a solicitor who specialises in fraud cases.
How can I fund my Serious Fraud Defence?
Access to expert legal support should never be a financial burden. Here at Clifford Johnston & Co., we offer our expertise to all clients, whether they opt for publicly funded or privately funded criminal defence. We firmly believe in equal access to justice.
If you’re concerned about the costs, there’s a solution. You might be eligible for legal aid, and our experienced team can help you determine your eligibility and navigate the application process, ensuring you receive the support you need.
Contact our Serious Fraud Solicitors in Manchester & Stockport
If you or your business are facing allegations of serious fraud contact our Criminal Defence Solicitors today.
At Clifford Johnston & Co. we have an impressive record of success which rightly brings us national recognition with regards to the ability of our Criminal Solicitors in helping clients avoid prosecution. We will work tirelessly to protect your livelihood, reputation and liberty.
We have offices across Stockport and Manchester. For affordable and cost-effective legal advice, contact us today.
Need some professional advice?
Do you have any issues that you are worried about? Contact our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, where we can discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.