SOLVING PERSONAL LEGAL MATTERS
Under section 213 of the Insolvency Act, if a company is wound up and it appears business has been carried out with the intention of defrauding creditors, the liquidator will investigate the individuals responsible for the running of the business and investigate the businesses activities.
Any person who knowingly continues to trade dishonestly to defraud, commits the offence, so it is not just company directors that can commit fraudulent trading.
If a company has been set up with the intention to defraud creditors, this is often referred to as either:
Commercial and business fraudulent trading in the UK is wide-ranging and can involve investigations and prosecutions brought by a number of different Government agencies, including HM Revenue and Customs, the Crown Prosecution Service (COS, the Financial Services Authority (FCA) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), to name but a few.
Inevitably, investigations conducted by the Police, in conjunction with the Serious Fraud Office, into complex allegations of fraud can be lengthy and have a devastating impact upon the individuals and businesses who are suspected of involvement in fraudulent and wrongful trading.
During an investigation into a fraudulent trading criminal offence, the police may request a search warrant to search your home, workplace or vehicle to secure evidence against you. The police may also seize any mobile or electronic devices for up to a few months whilst they search for evidence of fraudulent trading. You may also have your assets frozen however by seeking legal advice as early as possible, your solicitor will work closely with you to remove any such orders.
If you or someone you know is facing allegations of wrongful and fraudulent trading, speak to a fraud solicitor today on 01772 220 022 or make an online enquiry here.
If following a trial, a jury finds you have acted dishonestly and you are found guilty of fraudulent trading, you will likely be facing a lengthy prison sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment. If this is not your first offence for fraudulent trading or similar, or if you have used a false identity, you will receive a lengthier sentence. The court could also impose an ancillary order which could be restrain order, reparation order, financial reporting order, confiscation order or you may be disqualified from acting as a company director in the future. You may also have to compensate for any loss caused as a result of the fraudulent trading.
When sentencing, the court will consider other factors with fraudulent trading cases, such as level of remorse, previous convictions, seriousness of the offence and the extent of the harm caused. Other mitigating factors could be how well you co-operate with the investigations and your character. They will also take into consideration any disabilities or mental disorders.
If you are guilty of fraudulent trading and enter a guilty plea any time during the first stage of proceedings, up to and including the first court hearing, you could reduce the sentence you're facing by up to one third. However, the later you enter a guilty plea, the likelihood of receiving a reduced sentence reduces considerably.
If you are found guilty, you will be added onto the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) database formerly known as Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) for a specific amount of time dependent on the seriousness of the matter and the length of the sentence, which could have devastating effects for any future career prospects.
Our criminal defence team provide expert legal fraud defence advice and representation throughout the country to those suspected of or charged with fraudulent trading. We have many years of experience in representing clients who have been the subject of investigations conducted, and prosecuted, by the Serious Fraud Offence. Our fraud solicitors will work closely with you to understand your business and its activities and financial records to build a strong case in your favour. Many of our clients have simply made wrong judgements and, as a result, wrong decisions have been made in the trading of their business. You will only be facing prison if a jury finds you have acted dishonestly with the intent to defraud creditors.
Our fraud solicitors are members of the Specialist Fraud Panel and Series Fraud Association and are able to conduct the provision of advice and representation in fraud defence, either on a private fee-paying basis or through public funding through Legal Aid.
We are a dedicated and expert firm of specialist fraud defence lawyers with an outstanding reputation for the tenacious defence of cases of serious fraud and serious crime. We are repeatedly asked to assist client who have already, at some time or during the course of an investigation or Court proceedings instructed solicitors. We are used to dealing with such enquiries and advising as to the transfer of a case from previous solicitors to Forbes Solicitors. To speak to a fraud solicitor call 01772 220 022 or alternatively complete our online enquiry form.