Cannon Chambers’ provide expert advice and representation in all areas of white-collar criminal and civil financial crime, including account freezing and forfeiture orders and civil recovery and money laundering investigations.
Financial crime investigations, prosecutions and court hearings can be extremely stressful and potentially financially crippling.
Whether you have been served with a production order or a search and seizure warrant or you are facing a criminal investigation, getting practical advice and representation from an experienced tax barrister is vital.
To discuss your case or to instruct a barrister, contact Cannon Chambers here.
Financial crime can cover criminal activities ranging from white-collar crimes such as VAT carousel fraud to money laundering and tax evasion.
Some of the more common areas of financial crime include:
Bribery Act 2010 Offences
This anti-corruption legislation which applies to individuals, as well as companies and partnerships, comprises four main offences:
- Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting an advantage (bribe)
- Offering, promising or giving 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, disqualification from directorship roles for up to 15 years and confiscation of any assets acquired through bribery. Since the introduction of the Bribery Act, successful prosecutions for business crime are increasing.
Fraud Act 2006
The Fraud Act is applied to serial fraud or high-profile companies. Fraud Act cases frequently incorporate overlapping crimes under the Theft Acts, including false accounting. Fraud under the Fraud Act can lead to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Finance Act 2020
The 2020 Finance Act focuses on penalties for Coronavirus-related furlough fraud (CJRS) or self-employed assistance (SEISS) fraud.
The crime of falsifying employee information to fraudulently claim money became particularly common during the government’s Coronavirus furloughing scheme of 2020 (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme).
Any incorrect claim for government support under the 2020 Self Employed Income Support Scheme may be investigated and prosecuted as a financial crime.
Deliberately claiming government benefits to which you are not entitled.
The theft of money from a company’s payroll system is often connected to Furlough Fraud and PAYE fraud.
Purchasing assets (such as property) with the proceeds of criminal activity. Unexplained Wealth Orders are most often used to investigate and prosecute this criminal act.
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (PoCA)
This legislation contains a number of offences around the proceeds, benefits or assets from criminal activity.
PoCA enables the authorities to instigate:
- Freezing or restraint orders: while the investigation and / or prosecution is taking place, all assets may be frozen.
- Confiscation or recovery orders: defendants may have assets that are known to be the proceeds of criminal activity confiscated.
How Cannon Chambers Can Help With Financial Crime Investigations
We offer practical advice for clients facing a financial crime charge, an investigation or anyone who has been issued with an order under the Fraud Act, the Theft Act, Bribery Act, or POCA.
Handling the case
Whether you are facing a personal or a private prosecution or you are involved in an investigation at your company, we will liaise with HMRC fraud investigations service investigators, financial crime teams, prosecutors, and authorities such as the Financial Crime Authority and the Crown Prosecution Service as necessary.
We have in-depth experience in dealing with highly complex financial crime paperwork. We will manage all correspondence on your behalf, ensure that your disclosed information is appropriate, and provide legal representation in any interviews under caution, meetings and in court. We will insist on the fullest pre-interview disclosure from the police or HMRC and advise you whether “no comment” answers in the circumstances of the case or whether to offer full co-operation.
Defence in court
At Cannon Chambers we are experienced in successfully defending their clients in the courts – from commercial fraud to individual white-collar crime cases.
Contact Cannon Chambers here to arrange a virtual meeting with a Financial Crime barrister.
Other Areas Cannon Chambers Can Offer Advice:
Frequently Asked Questions
Fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, bribery and corruption, tax including VAT fraud.
The terms economic crime and financial crime are essentially used to describe the same thing i.e. the dishonest obtaining of money or other valuable property by dishonest means.
The key bribery offences contained in the Bribery Act 2010 are: bribing another person (Section 1); bribing a foreign public official (FPO) (Section 6); and failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery (Section 7).
The maximum penalty for offences under the Fraud Act 2006 Sections 1, 7 and 9 and is 12 months’ imprisonment on summary conviction and 10 years’ imprisonment on conviction on indictment.