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Expert serious fraud defence solicitors

Being accused of serious fraud can be damaging to your reputation and to your ability to do business. If you are facing an investigation or charges, you need representation from expert serious fraud defence solicitors.

At Stephen Rimmer, our serious fraud lawyers have an in-depth understanding of how to handle allegations. We can step in straightaway to protect your rights and ensure that investigators and prosecutors do not exceed their authority in dealing with your case.

It is always advisable to speak to a serious fraud solicitor as soon as you are notified of an investigation. Penalties can be severe, including both substantial fines and prison sentences.

If you ask us to represent you, we will take immediate action to defend you. We will give you the advice you need to ensure that you do not inadvertently damage your position and make sure that the information provided to the authorities is controlled.

We will also take steps to protect your assets from restraint and confiscation wherever possible. We know how disruptive a fraud investigation can be and we will work to ensure that it is dealt with efficiently, protecting your interests as far as we can.

Our serious fraud representation and services include:

  • Advice and representation during fraud investigations
  • Dawn raids, restraint and confiscation
  • Serious fraud prosecution

Contact our serious fraud defence solicitors

We offer an initial no obligation discussion. If you have been notified that you are facing a serious fraud investigation, contact us today:

How we can help with serious fraud claims

Advice and representation during fraud investigations

The defence to a serious fraud investigation needs to be handled carefully to minimise the disruption to your life and to ensure that the authorities only have information to which they are entitled.

Our serious fraud team have wide experience of representing clients in investigations conducted by a range of authorities, including:

  • The Serious Fraud Office (SFO investigations)
  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA investigations)
  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC investigations)
  • Insolvency Service investigations
  • Trading Standards investigations
  • National Crime Agency investigations
  • Department of Work and Pensions (DWP investigations)
  • City of London Police investigations

We will work with you to establish what has happened and to put together a strong defence on your behalf. We will assess the information and documents seized by the investigating authority and advise you on the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

We will check the legality of search warrants and ensure that information they have is both legally obtained and accurate. We also ensure that we have access to all relevant documents ourselves.

We can advise you prior to interviews under caution and accompany you during the interview to make sure that your rights are observed.

Where there does not appear to be sufficient evidence against you or the case is not in the public interest, we can negotiate with the investigating officers to explore whether charges can be dropped. They may be open to options other than bringing a legal case against you, such as agreeing on a change in the way you deal with matters going forward.

Dawn raids, restraint and confiscation

Dawn raids, restraint orders and confiscation proceedings can be exceptionally difficult for a business to manage and if they are not handled promptly and effectively, they can quickly result in an organisation having to close.

We will check that the paperwork is in order and that the authorities do not act beyond the scope of what is legally permitted. We will also apply for copies of all paperwork used by the authorities in securing a warrant.

The time immediately following a raid, or the making of a restraint or confiscation order is crucial in minimising damage. If you call us straightaway, we will intervene at once to try and protect your position and your business.

Serious fraud prosecutions

If you are facing a prosecution, you need expert serious fraud defence solicitors by your side. Our team have extensive experience across many types of fraud case brought by a range of authorities.

We know how to build the best possible defence and we will work to challenge aspects of the case against you wherever possible.

We may be able to deal with matters out of court. If we cannot, then we will ensure that you have thorough preparation before any hearings and that you are represented in court by an expert serious fraud barrister.

Serious fraud FAQs

What is considered serious fraud?

Serious fraud or business crime refers to a range of offences, including:

  • Banking fraud
  • Financial misconduct
  • Money laundering
  • Tax evasion
  • VAT fraud
  • Insider trading
  • Fraudulent trading
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Boiler room fraud

They are often of high value or complex cases, requiring expert legal advice and representation. They are generally white collar crimes, relating to finance or business.

The Fraud Act 2006 includes three types of fraud:

  • Fraud by false representation
  • Fraud by failure to disclose information
  • Fraud by abuse of position

Is fraud a criminal or civil offence UK?

Fraud is a criminal offence, but you can also be pursued in the civil courts in respect of fraud. The claimant may bring a civil fraud case to try and recover financial losses.

To bring a criminal fraud case successfully, the prosecution needs to prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of the offence.

In the civil courts, it is only necessary to establish a case on the balance of probabilities, which is a lower standard of proof and easier to demonstrate.

It is possible to face both criminal and civil fraud proceedings in respect of the same alleged offence.

How long do you go to jail for fraud in the UK?

There are a range of potential penalties for those found guilty of fraud, including:

  • Substantial fines
  • Deprivation orders
  • Serious crime prevention orders
  • Disqualification from acting as a director
  • Imprisonment

The length of time you could be imprisoned for will depend on a range of issues, including:

  • Whether you had a leading role in an offence committed by a group
  • Whether you exerted pressure or influence on others to take part
  • Whether you abused a position of trust, power or responsibility
  • How sophisticated the fraud was
  • The length of time over which it was perpetrated
  • The number of victims
  • Whether the victim was targeted because they were vulnerable
  • The harm caused and the sums of money involved

By way of example, a case of false accounting has a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, while the maximum for conspiracy to defraud is ten years in prison.

Where a victim lost between £20,000 and £100,000, a sentence of up to four years might be considered appropriate.

How long does a serious fraud case take?

Serious fraud cases can be complex and it can take the authorities a long time to put together evidence and build a case. If you are being prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office, the case could take years to conclude.

The SFO says that during the period 2009-2019, the average length of an SFO investigation was four years and seven months. This is the length of time for the whole case to be dealt with.

Minor investigations can be dealt with more quickly. If we represent you in a fraud investigation, we will work with the authorities to see whether court action can be avoided, which will reduce the amount of time involved.

Speak to our serious fraud solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

From our offices in Eastbourne and Hastings, our team provides serious fraud advice and representation to clients across East Sussex, including in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hailsham, Polegate, Battle, Pevensey and St Leonards-on-Sea.

To find out how we can help with serious fraud claims, please contact our expert team now:

How can we help you?

Call us today on 01323 644222 to get the specialist help you need.