fraud case

BSQ Cash Seizure Success

In contested cash seizure proceedings BSQ partner Roger Sahota has successfully secured the return of £10,000 to one of our clients. The cash was detained in the course of a fraud investigation concerning an investment broker in the city. After protracted correspondence, no further action was taken in relation to the underlying criminal investigation and cash seized from our client was returned.

 Roger Sahota has acted in a number of cases recently where he has successfully secured the return of large sums of cash detained in cash seizure proceedings before the Magistrate’s Court bought under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - see here,

Roger is also currently instructed in a number of contested cash seizure and account freezing order proceedings before the Westminster Magistrate’s Court.

 If you require advice and assistance in relation to a cash seizure case please contact our London offices.

CPS Decide to Abandon Prosecution of Investors to Tax Avoidance Scheme After BSQ Test Case Collapses

Following the collapse of a test case prosecution of an individual investor in a tax avoidance scheme the CPS have announced that they will not be bringing any further charges against other investors in a landmark case.

In R v C charges of Fraud by False Representation i.e. of attempting to dishonestly obtain a tax advantage contrary to s.16A of the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992 were brought against a BSQ client.  

The case is novel as the accused was an  individual tax payer subscriber and not the professional advisers who were the architects of the scheme.

BSQ partner Daniel Godden was instructed. 

More details of the case will be revealed in the BSQ website next week

BSQ Fraud Team instructed to Challenge £64m Confiscation Order

BSQ’s Fraud defence team has been appointed to represent Dr Gerald Smith in enforcement proceedings concerning one of the highest confiscation orders ever made – now standing in excess of £64m including interest - ever made in the UK.

Mr Smith features in proceedings brought by the SFO in one of the largest cases under the CJA 1988 to be ever heard, presided over by Mr Justice Popplewell before the Commercial Court. The complex litigation involves more than 12 different parties and concerns assets worth in excess of £200 million.    

The BSQ partners instructed are Daniel Godden and Roger Sahota.   

The case has been widely reported in the media including the Evening Standard.  

Mayfair Gambler Rewrites Law on Fraud

Phil Ivey, an American gambler who failed in his attempt to compel a Mayfair casino to pay out £7m in winnings and was branded a cheat by the Supreme Court yesterday is likely to become a familiar name to future generations of criminal lawyers. 

Ivey (Appellant) v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords (Respondent) [2017] UKSC 67 is an important case for lawyers and finance professionals because it revises the law on dishonesty.  Defendants in all fraud, theft and business crime prosecutions will have to adapt to the new Supreme Court ruling. 

One of the most common defences raised in business fraud prosecutions is that a defendant has not acted dishonestly. Proving dishonesty is therefore a key requirement for the Crown in fraud and theft prosecutions. Previously the test for a conviction was that set out in R v Ghosh [1982] EWCA Crim 2 which states that a conviction could only result where a jury was satisfied that;

1.      the conduct complained of was dishonest by the lay objective standards of ordinary reasonable and honest people; and, if yes

2.     the defendant must have realised that ordinary honest people would so regard his behaviour;

It is the second limb of that test that the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision primarily focused their ire on. Their main concern was that the Ghosh test did not require a defendant to show that their genuinely held belief refuting dishonesty was also reasonable. Accordingly, this created “the unintended effect that the more warped the defendant’s standards of honesty are, the less likely it is that he will be convicted of dishonest behaviour” [Para 58].

In business crime cases the Court felt that a defendants conduct should be judged against “contemporary standards of honesty” -   “there is no reason why the law should excuse those who make a mistake about what contemporary standards of honesty are, whether in the context of insurance claims, high finance, market manipulation or tax evasion” [Para 59].

Commenting on the decision BSQ fraud partner Roger Sahota said that ‘most fraud cases revolve around one central issue – did the defendant act dishonestly. The ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision are not clear yet but it may have raised the bar for anyone who denies acting dishonesty. In complex fraud cases Accused persons may be required to show that their conduct and decision making was consistent with industry norms and would not be seen by their contemporaries as dishonest.”  

The full decision is available here. 

If you require advice in a fraud prosecution or investigation please contact our London office.

Daniel Godden Writes on Lord Hanningfield Acquittal for Solicitors Journal

Daniel Godden acted as solicitor for Lord Hanningfield in his recent high profile acquittal. Lord Hanningfield was accused of dishonestly claiming parliamentary expenses. The case was resolved in Lord Hanningfield’s favour after a dismissal application on the basis that the concept of ‘parliamentary work’ was subject to parliamentary privilege.

Read Daniels article - ‘The Separation of Powers and the Exclusive Cognisance of Parliament’ written in conjunction with Rupert Bowers QC and published by the Solicitors Journal Vol 160, no.33, 6th September 2016 here - http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/comment/separation-powers-and-exclusive-cognisance-parliament). 

Daniel Godden specialises in civil and criminal fraud. If you wish to speak to Daniel concerning a financial crime investigation please contact our offices. 

 

 

Daniel Godden Acts for Lord Hanningfield In Parliamentary Expenses Acquittal

Daniel Godden acted as solicitor for Lord Hanningfield in his recent high profile acquittal. Lord Hanningfield was accused of dishonestly claiming parliamentary expenses. The case was resolved in Lord Hanningfield’s favour after a dismissal application on the basis that the concept of ‘parliamentary work’ was subject to parliamentary privilege. Read more about the case in the Daily Mirror and the Guardian. 

Rupert Bowers QC was instructed as Counsel. 

Cash Seizure Success for Berkeley Square Solicitors Client

Another successful outcome for our financial crime department. Roger Sahota represented a client arrested at airside customs found to be carrying €50,000 in cash. This money was seized pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA 2002) cash seizure provisions.

After making representations on his behalf, the authorities agreed voluntarily to return these funds to our client, with interest. POCA cash seizure court proceedings were discontinued. 

Our practice is currently dealing with a number of similar cases regarding the cash seizure provisions of the POCA legislation. If you need advice on a cash seizure application contact our financial crime department.