Corporate FraudMeet the team
Corporate Fraud Solicitors
If you or your company are facing criminal investigations after being accused of corporate fraud, you need to seek legal advice as a matter of urgency.
Offences of this kind potentially come with significant sentences, so it’s incredibly important to start contesting any accusations as soon as you can – and you’ll need to instruct a talented legal expert in order to argue your case as effectively as possible.
For over three decades, the specialist corporate fraud solicitors at DPP Law have been successfully representing clients who are subjected to complex fraud investigations.
We will work closely with you to collect evidence to prove your innocence, accompany you to interviews and hearings and aid you in building the strongest possible defence should your case be taken to court.
Here, we’ll explain a little more about what we do and the ways in which we can help you and your company.
What is considered corporate fraud?
When working in this field of law, our experts often take on cases involving complex fraud-related misdemeanours, many of which include a combination of different offences.
Below, we introduce just some of the criminal offences for which an individual may be investigated under the umbrella of corporate fraud.
Pyramid schemes are notorious illegal business models that exploit their members, tasking them with recruiting others in order to make a return rather than offering genuine products and services.
They are against the law in many countries around the world and, in the UK, they are connected to the offence of investment fraud (which we will explore in greater detail later on).
As a result, an individual found to be running or managing a pyramid scheme may face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
This type of criminal offence covers a range of illegal activities, including
- Falsely authorising payments to oneself or one’s company
- Altering amounts on cheques
- Utilising payee details for financial gain without the correct permissions
- Forging payment records
- Creating fake bank accounts
- Processing fake claims for cash or other financial resources
Sentencing for misdemeanours of this kind also extends to seven years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
“Asset misappropriation” can be simply defined to refer to an individual or group who steals from a business by abusing their role within it.
Anyone with official permission to use and handle the assets of a company may be investigated for – and charged with – this offence, should it be believed that they have “misappropriated” those assets.
This is another crime that can lead to up to seven years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
This type of fraud may involve the provision of false or inaccurate details when filing for bankruptcy, or a business fraudulently trading after being declared insolvent.
Alternatively, the term may apply to “phoenix” organisations, which, after being declared insolvent, are set up again soon after as “different” companies with the same key stakeholders in order to avoid any liabilities.
Not only may you face a major fine and a prison sentence of up to seven years if you are found guilty of this offence, but you may also have bankruptcy-related restrictions placed on you for up to fifteen years.
The term “wrongful trading” usually refers to the actions taken by a company that is due to be made insolvent, but that fails to take steps to reduce possible losses on the part of its creditors.
There is also a similar “fraudulent trading” offence, which refers to a company continually trading despite the knowledge that it will be unable to fulfil orders or make required repayments.
Misdemeanours of this kind may face up to 10 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
An individual or business may be accused of money laundering if it can be proven that they have illegally disguised the origin or source of funds obtained through illegal activities. This usually includes “converting” that money in a way that makes it appear legitimate.
As with other fraud offences, money laundering perpetrators face an unlimited fine if found guilty – but the maximum custodial sentence is higher than most, and may extend to fourteen years in prison.
Usually, investment fraud involves an individual or group convincing another party to invest in a business or scheme that does not exist or is falsely represented, then misappropriating the “invested” funds for their own gain.
It is worth noting that the majority of the UK’s financial services activities must be permitted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and that permission must be recorded in the Financial Services Register.
If you are offering investment services without applying to this register, you may find yourself under investigation.
The potential prison sentence for investment fraud may extend to ten years or above, along with the possibility of an unlimited fine.
Simply put, tax fraud involves activity such as false accounting or tax evasion that serves to illegally prevent an individual or company from having to pay the correct amount of tax for which they are liable.
While a tax fraud conviction comes with a potential maximum custodial sentence of up to seven years, perpetrators of the offence of “conspiracy to defraud” face up to ten years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
What should I do if I’ve been accused of corporate fraud?
Due to the significant penalties faced by any individual or company accused of corporate fraud, it is vital that you make contact with the specialist fraud lawyers at DPP Law as soon as you learn of any investigation into your activities.
Not only are harsh sentences possible if you are found guilty of a misdemeanour of this kind, but investigations into corporate fraud by the UK government’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) can be very invasive and damaging.
They often involve unannounced inspections of work premises and domestic properties – otherwise known as dawn raids and the freezing of assets and may harm your professional reputation and your business’s credibility significantly, whether you are guilty or not.
If found guilty of corporate fraud, alongside your sentence, you may also be barred from trading in a certain capacity for an extended period of time, and your company may be forced to terminate its activities permanently.
DPP Law is a Legal 500 company and one of the leading law firms in the UK. We have an excellent track record of advising and defending individuals and businesses accused of fraud.
Our specialists will be able to help you collect evidence to prove your innocence, advise you on the best course of action to take throughout any investigation and build a highly effective defence should your case be heard in a court of law.
Alongside this, our solicitors advise individuals on:
- Criminal Defence
- Sexual Offences
- Benefit Fraud Defence
- Serious Driving Offences
- Military Law
- Family Law
- Personal Injury
- Road Traffic Accidents
Contact DPP Law today if you are concerned about any current or potential investigation into corporate fraud relating to you as an individual or to a company with which you work.
You can get in touch with us on our Emergency Arrest Line at any time of day or night, seven days per week, 365 days per year.
Don’t hesitate to call us as soon as you become aware of any allegations against you, as doing so could make all the difference to your case.