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Fraud

VAT Fraud

VAT fraud is an area of criminal defence where the case can often be very complex and difficult to prove. VAT fraud charges can be brought under Section 72 of Value Added Tax Act 1974, as well as the Fraud Act 2006. Here at SKR Legal Solicitors we understand that VAT fraud investigations can be extremely thorough and can sometime cause huge disruption to a business and may further damage the reputation of a business. Proving VAT fraud has taken place often involves the prosecuting body to prove many factors. Some of the factors involve showing that a business has not paid the correct amount of VAT or in some cases the business has reclaimed an excessive amount of VAT in comparison to what they were entitled to.

VAT Fraud is an extremely serious offence, in the most serious of cases it involves a custodial sentence of up to 10 years. SKR Legal Solicitors carry up to 25 years of expertise in defencing VAT fraud cases, as well as other serious fraud related matters. We believe is it important to seek legal advice as early as possible and that is why we offer a free 20-minute consultation over the phone.

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Forgery

Under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce someone to just accept it as real, and by reason of therefore acceptive it to try to or to not do some act to his own or the other person’s prejudice.

An instrument is outlined at intervals s8 (1) of the act as being ‘any document, whether or not of a proper or informal character’ and includes stamps, post-paid stamps, discs, soundtracks but not currency notes.

An essential element of the offence for false instrument charges is that the person using the instrument knows or believes it is false. Furthermore, there has to be a double intent; that is, The false instrument will be used to get any other person to accept it as genuine, and That somebody, by reason of so accepting it, will be prejudiced by their action or inaction.

If you are a suspect of such an offence you must obtain specialist recommendation, because the penalties may be harsh; upon conviction within the Crown Court sentences of imprisonment of up to 10 years can be imposed.

Money Laundering

The Money laundering, Terrorist funding and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) rules 2017 (the Money Laundering Regulations 2017) came into force on the 26th June 2017.

It is an associated offence underneath section 327 of the act may be committed in 5 other ways - conceal, disguise, convert, transfers or removes the criminal property the jurisdiction.

It is an offence under the section 328 where a person enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of a criminal property by or on behalf of another person.

The penalties for the principal offences in section 327 to 329 are on summary conviction up to six-month imprisonment and or the fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, and on indictment fourteen years’ imprisonment or a fine or both. For offences under the failure to disclose and tipping off provision section 330 to 333 the sentences on summary conviction are the same although the maximum sentence of imprisonment on indictment is five years.

It is essential to get in touch with a legal professional at an early stage of the case. The team at SKR Legal Solicitors is able to assist you at any stage of the case. We urge that you contact us should you need legal advice or further.

Tax Evasion

Tax Evasion is the illegal evasion of taxes by individuals, corporations and trusts. Tax Evasion usually involves taxpayers purposely misrepresenting the true state of their affairs to the tax authorities with intention to reduce their tax liability. It includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts actually earned or in some cases overstating deductions.

Tax based fraud or evasion is usually investigated by Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue (HMRC) or by the National Crime Agency (NCA). If the offence occurs elsewhere (outside of the U.K) then is will be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) or NCA, but it will be prosecuted by either the SFO or CPS.

Tax evasion cases can often be complex and may require further investigation. This is why we suggest you should get in touch with a legal representative at an early stage of the case. SKR Legal Solicitors are able to assist individuals involved in such cases at any stage of the case.

We understand that cases of this calibre often have many implications such as financial, social and emotional implications. This is why we at SKR Legal Solicitors always maintain confidentiality and work efficiently on the matter.

False Accounting

False Accounting creates two offences under the Theft Act 1968 and occurs where a person dishonestly, destroys, defaces, conceals or falsifies any account or any record or document made or required for any accounting purpose or in furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any such record or document which to his knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive.

The offence attracts a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment. The sentencing guidelines and cases on such matters are complex and we are able to navigate through such complexities to highlight the mitigating factors in your case. There are further ancillary orders that the court may make and these include:

1. Compensation Orders

2. Deprivation Orders

Often these offences aren’t committed with the intention of personal gain, but more so committed due to extremely tense atmospheres created by business financial circumstances. We take this into account here at SKR Legal Solicitors and therefore are able to assist you throughout the case. We advise to seek legal assistance as early as possible due to the complex nature of cases. Although it is advisable to seek assistance at an early stage, we are still able to help through.

Counterfeit Goods

The sale of counterfeit goods is an extremely serious crime and requires a strong defense. The issue with counterfeit goods, is that individuals or businesses can unsuspectingly become involved in the vicious cycle as goods they have bought may be counterfeit.

Investigations into counterfeit goods are bound to be thorough and usually involve numerous investigating authorities such as the Serious Crime office, Trading standards and the Federation against copyright theft and HMRC. Here at SKR Legal Solicitors we understand that such investigations can be very stressful and intrusive, often leaving long term damages to reputation and business. This is why we offer assistance on the case regardless of which stage. Although we advise seeking legal assistance at an early stage, we are still able to help. We think that early legal assistance can often help avoid any critical errors or misjudgments that may have an effect on your case in the later stages.

Custodial sentences for such offences can be lengthy and complex, hence we recommend you seek specialist legal advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Legal Aid?

Legal aid is the provision of assistance to people who are unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system. Legal aid is regarded as central in providing access to justice by ensuring equality before trial, the right to counsel and the right to a fair trial. We currently offer Legal Aid for Criminal Defence matters.

How do I know if I am eligible for Legal Aid?

This is dependent on the type of case and also your financial circumstances. To know whether you are eligible for legal aid, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be able to further assist you.

Do I have to pay for my initial consultation?

Our initial legal consultation (for up to 20 minutes) is completely free of charge and no obligation is required.

How can I get in contact with someone in the firm?

The best way to get in contact with the firm is by contacting us via our main telephone line, which remains open from 9AM to 5PM weekdays. Alternatively, you can contact us on our emergency line which is active during non-working hours.

Do I pay for my police station representation?

This is dependent on if you are eligible for legal aid. In cases where we cannot provide legal aid due to you not being eligible, we can offer a fixed competitive rate.