If you have been accused of fraud, whether you have committed the crime or it is a false allegation, you must speak to an experienced, specialist fraud solicitor who can deal with your case and create a strong defence for you. The definition of fraud is to deprive by deceitful means; this means depriving someone of something through deceit or dishonesty, most often money.
There are many different types of fraud, including identity theft, bank fraud, benefit fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering, bribery, forgery, counterfeiting, tax evasion and many others. It is one of the most commonly experienced crimes in the UK and costs the government many billions of pounds each year.
A specialist fraud solicitor will have experience in dealing with these crimes on a small scale and a large scale. They will have experience dealing with HMRC tax investigations, FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) investigations and SFO (Serious Fraud Office) investigations. The main fraud offences are contained in the Fraud Act 2006 and the Theft Act 1968. These are huge pieces of legislation, so it is very important that you consult a fraud solicitor sooner rather than later to understand the charges that have been made against you and the possible penalties or sentencing they can hold.
A fraud solicitor will be able to explain the nature of your charges so that you understand what you are being accused of, how serious it is and the possible implications the charges could have without quality legal representation. You will have the chance to explain your involvement in the crime or whether you have been falsely accused of wrongdoing.
Fraud can be explained by using the Fraud Triangle Theory. It is thought that fraud occurs as a result of three different reasons: pressure, opportunities and rationalisation. Pressure in the form of personal financial pressure, reaching targets at work or an addiction can be the motivation or incentive to commit fraud. Examples of opportunity include lack of supervision or being in a position of power where you have information, knowledge and the ability to carry out fraud, often without being caught. Rationalisation is when you justify your actions and tell yourself that you will rectify the matter, for example, by having the idea that you are borrowing money and will pay it back in the future. Your fraud solicitor will determine the cause of your actions and use this to build the best defence for you.
Implications of a fraud charge
The maximum penalty for each type of fraud varies, and you may be given a fine or even face life imprisonment, depending on the extent of the crime. This is why you must involve a fraud solicitor from the very beginning to reduce the implications of your case. Fraud investigations can be lengthy and complicated. They can last for months or even years, and you may find that your life has been put on hold during this time; this can harm all aspects of your life as well as affect those around you. A specialist fraud solicitor will help reduce the effect that the investigation has on your job or career, finances, reputation and health and well-being.