Financial crime covers a wide range of offences, both criminal and civil. Cases can be investigated by various law enforcement agencies, and can be interconnected with other criminal offences and criminal activity around the world.
Investigations, prosecutions and court cases can be extremely stressful and financially destructive.
Whether you have been served with a financial crime order or you are under investigation, getting practical advice and representation from an experienced barrister is absolutely vital.
Financial crime can cover an array of criminal activities – from white collar crimes such as price fixing or market abuse to cartel offences and money laundering.
Some of the more common areas of financial crime include:
Bribery Act 2010 Offences
This anti-corruption legislation is one of the toughest in the world. It comprises four main offences:
- Offering, promising or giving an advantage (bribe)
- Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting an advantage (bribe)
- Bribery of a foreign public official
- Failure by a commercial organisation to prevent a bribe being paid to obtain or retain business or a business advantage
Defendants can face up to 10 years in prison, confiscation of assets acquired through bribery and disqualification of directorship roles for up to 15 years. Since the introduction of the Bribery Act, successful prosecutions for business crime are on the rise.
Fraud Act 2006 and Finance Act 2020
The Fraud Act covers offences involving high profile companies or serial fraud. It often includes overlapping crimes under the Theft Acts, including false accounting. Fraud under the Fraud Act carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
The 2020 Finance Act focuses on penalties for those guilty of coronavirus-related furlough fraud (CJRS) or self-employed assistance (SEISS) fraud.
Falsifying employee information to fraudulently claim money. Particularly referring to the government coronavirus furloughing scheme of 2020 (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).
Making an incorrect claim for government support under the 2020 Self Employed Income Support Scheme.
Deliberately claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled.
Payroll Fraud theft of money from a payroll system of a company. Connected to Furlough Fraud and PAYE fraud.
Buying assets (particularly property) with the proceeds of criminal activity. The main way this is prevented is through Unexplained Wealth Orders.
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Legislation that contains a number of offences around the proceeds, benefits or assets from criminal activity. Enables the authorities to instigate:
Freezing or restraint orders: the defendant is unable to access their money while the investigation and / or prosecution is taking place
Confiscation or recovery orders: confiscating assets that are known to be the proceeds of criminal activity.
How Patrick Cannon Can Help with Financial Crime Investigations
Initially, Patrick Cannon can give practical advice if you are facing a financial crime charge, investigation or have been issued with an order under the Bribery Act, POCA, Fraud Act or the Theft Act.
Handling the case
Whether you are involved in an internal investigation at your company or you are facing a private prosecution, Patrick will liaise with financial crime teams, prosecutors, and authorities including the Financial Crime Authority.
With a background as a solicitor, Patrick has long experience in dealing with often highly complex financial crime paperwork. He will ensure that all of your supplied information is in order, manage all correspondence on your behalf and provide legal representation in any interviews and meetings.
Defence in court
As a barrister, Patrick has a track record of successfully defending clients in the courts. He ensures absolute discretion in dealing with high profile fraud and other financial crime cases.
Alongside this, Patrick Cannon can advise and defend individuals in the following financial crime practice areas:
- Money Laundering
- Income Tax Fraud
- Code of Practice 9
- Payroll Fraud
- Furlough Fraud
- Unexplained Wealth Orders
For tax advice and representation in an financial fraud or HMRC investigation with one of the UK’s leading specialist tax advisers, please contact Patrick Cannon here.