At Faradays Solicitors, we are highly skilled and experienced in advising and representing organisations and individuals who are facing investigations by regulatory bodies and/or criminal charges relating to fraud.
Our criminal law defence team will provide advice and representation on both internal, external, and criminal fraud investigations. We understand the motivations and internal workings of the Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, Serious Fraud Office, and the National Crime Agency, and advise and represent individuals and boards who are facing investigation. We also have an in-depth knowledge of the Fraud Act 2006, which governs the offence of fraud in the United Kingdom.
As solicitors accredited in criminal law by the Law Society of England and Wales, we can provide you with the advice and representation you need to ensure you have a strong defence, regardless of the complexities of the charges brought against you or your company.
Please contact us on 0207 281 1001 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is fraud?
Under UK law, fraud is defined as:
- making a dishonest representation for your own advantage or to cause another a loss
- dishonestly neglecting to disclose information when you had a duty to do so
- abusing your position, if you have a duty to protect the financial interests of others and you fail in this for the purpose of your own gain to cause another to make a loss
- false accounting
- using accounting documents which you know are misleading
- conspiring with others to commit fraud by agreeing to do something which causes loss to a third party
These definitions come from a mix of common and statute law, including parts of the Fraud Act 2006 and the Theft Act 1968.
What are the elements of the offence ‘fraud by false representation’?
To gain a conviction for the offence of fraud by false representation, the prosecution must prove the defendant made a false representation, dishonestly, knowing the representation was or might be untrue or misleading with an intent to make a gain for themselves or cause loss to another or expose another to a risk of loss. The offence is complete as soon as the defendant makes a false representation, if it is made with the necessary dishonest intent. The representation may be express or implied and can be stated in words or communicated by the defender’s conduct. An example of the latter is whereby the defendant is in possession of a stolen credit card and he or she, in full knowledge of that fact, hands it over for payment at a store.
Even a knock of the head can constitute making a false representation.
How does the court define ‘dishonesty’ in fraud cases?
For many years, the test for dishonesty was based on a two-stage test set out in the case of R v Gosh  EWCA Crim 2. However, in 2017, the Supreme Court handed down the decision in Ivey v Genting Casinos  UKSC 67,  All ER (D) 134 (Oct), which gave a new test. First, the court must subjectively discover the defendant’s knowledge or belief of the facts. It makes no difference whether the belief was reasonable, only that the defendant genuinely held it. Once this has been established, it is for a Magistrate, judge or jury to objectively consider whether the defendant’s conduct met the standards of honesty held by ordinary decent people.
This new test takes away the requirement set out in Gosh that the defendant must appreciate that their conduct would be considered dishonest by the standards of ordinary, decent people.
The Supreme Court’s decision is very important in fraud cases and adds an extra layer of complexity when building a defence. It is therefore imperative that if you are facing charges of fraud that you instruct a legal team who have a deep understanding of the current law.
What is ‘boiler room fraud’?
The term 'boiler room fraud' or 'boiler room scam' are used to describe a type of fraud committed by means of distance selling, telemarketing, and telesales which results in victims being sold products or investments which are either worthless or which are sold to them on a false premise.
Typically, a team of salespeople cold-call list of people whose names have been obtained from telemarketing companies. Elderly and other vulnerable people are often targeted.
Unfortunately, many individuals who are mere ‘cogs in the wheel’ such as office managers and telesales workers can find themselves caught up in boiler room fraud and being charged with a criminal offence. Our team have represented many individuals who have found themselves in this situation. Defences to this type of fraud include that the defendant had a lack of knowledge about the fraud and/or the selling of the products or investments themselves was not illegal. The fact that investors lost money does not automatically mean fraud was involved.
What happens if I am convicted of benefit fraud?
Being convicted of benefit fraud can have devastating consequences on the finances of you and your family. If found guilty, you may be fined up to £5,000, forced to pay back the money obtained through fraudulent means and/or have your benefits reduced or stopped for up to three years. If you are being accused of benefit fraud, our solicitors can provide expert legal advice, ensuring you are fully informed of your rights and robustly represented.
To find out more about our criminal law services or and specialist fraud solicitors, please phone our office on 0207 281 1001. You can also email us at email@example.com.