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Cases we have handled

Frauds perpetrated on individuals:

 ♦ Our client was a retired airline pilot who invested several hundred thousand pounds into a project introduced to him by a friend of his brother, Mr A. In the scheme he invested sums both as equity and loans into a Guernsey based company that was developing the patent for a special timber framed type of roofing. The application for the patent was already well developed and our client was to become co-owner of the company designated to hold the patent. The development continued but gradually ground to halt and contact with Mr A who was developing the patent ceased. We were asked to investigate and we established that behind the company was a complicated network of offshore companies controlled by Mr A and managed by a formation agent in Guernsey. In fact the fraudster had created a variety of other companies all selling the same patent development concept and obtaining funds from multiple sources. Unknown to any of the investors he completed the registration of the patent in his own name and sold it to a multi-national public company who have used the patented construction technique extensively. Mr A cannot now be traced but proceedings have been entered against the formation agent – RE IW

♦ We were instructed by a company director whose company had entered into a franchise contract with a quoted public company. He had invested in the franchise based on forecasts produced by the franchisor. The company, which was in the parcel delivery business, never came close to achieving the forecast profits and soon ran out of operating funds, so that the franchisor had to lend money to the company. Eventually the franchisee failed and the franchisor sought to enforce a personal guarantee on the company director, demanding £350,000. We demonstrated that the forecasts were wrong both in fundamental principles and in base line revenue and costs. The pre-contractual information was so flawed that we believed that a successful civil fraud prosecution could be launched.  After extensive negotiation not only was the £350,000 demand withdrawn but we obtained £225,000 of damages in an out of court settlement. Re SW

♦ We were instructed by UK solicitors to assist their client, Lord G, who had been defrauded of £10 million in family trust assets by what is known as an advanced fee fraud combined with a  Ponzi  scheme. We provided expert advice in obtaining a Freezing Order and Search Order against the alleged fraudster. By this means the client recovered all his money that was frozen in multiple offshore bank accounts. This recovery was achieved within six weeks of instruction. – Re Lord G

♦ We were instructed by UK solicitors acting for a Canadian client who had been defrauded of several million pounds in an Advanced Fee fraud perpetrated by individuals based in the UK. We provided expert advice in obtaining a Freezing Order and Search Order against the alleged fraudster. The Search Order was conducted at multiple UK locations and resulted in a full recovery. The case continued with a professional negligence claim against an accountant where we also gave expert advice that led to a successful out of court settlement. – Re H

Frauds within commercial organisations outside the regulated sector

♦ Our clients had acquired an engineering company, E Limited, based on the Slough Estate. The company’s largest client was Mars plc and E Limited provided on-site engineering support. Our clients had invested all their funds in acquiring this long established business but soon realised that buyers from Mars were expecting bribes for the placing of new purchase orders. We met with our clients, who explained that they had no funds to seek a recovery so we helped to guide them as to how to establish the extent of the fraud. Over a two year period, with our guidance, they untangled a web of corruption and fraud stretching back at least 7 years and probably longer. We tried to assist them by introducing them to solicitors in the hope of arranging a conditional fee arrangement for a civil recovery but this was unsuccessful. They took the matter to the police and after a further 18 months participated in a successful criminal prosecution of the previous owners of E Limited and buyers at Mars. The previous owners received custodial sentences of in excess of 7 years. The judge at the criminal trial was so impressed by our clients that she deferred criminal asset confiscation proceedings whilst our clients could pursue civil recovery. Armed with the criminal judgement we were able to assist our clients in obtaining success based fee arrangements with both solicitor and counsel, with ourselves acting as expert advisors and preparing the financial evidence and consequential loss claims. In 2008 our client won £8.3million in damages against the assets already frozen as a result of the criminal prosecution. – Re E Limited This is now a leading case - follow the link

♦ Our client had acquired a travel agency specialising in canal and river holidays. The bookings were well below those anticipated and our client asked us to investigate whether there was evidence to suggest that new bookings were being diverted fraudulently to a company under the control of the previous owner. Strong evidence was produced that indicated that this was indeed the case and our client reached a settlement with the previous owner – Re TDA

♦ We were asked to investigate the employee of a company that managed a national team of gas appliance engineers. It had been discovered that the employee had formed a company with a very similar name as his employer and it was assumed that this may indicate an employee fraud. We investigated whether there was evidence of orders being diverted and whether the employee, who was absent on long-term sick leave, was actually illicitly working. Sufficient evidence was gathered so as to enable our client to dismiss the employee and change its own internal systems so as to remove the vulnerabilities revealed by the case. Re Co

Frauds perpetrated on banks and other financial service organisations

♦ Our client was a major US Bank with a recently acquired banking subsidiary in Prague. Their risk control department asked us to join them as part of a fraud investigation team, urgently trying to uncover a $6.5 million fraud on the banks foreign exchange account. We established that the Head of IT had been systematically transferring foreign exchange differences via various internal accounts and then settling the control differences by transfers to his own bank accounts elsewhere. The frauds had taken place over a three year period and the IT manager had used the money to buy property, jewellery, motor cycles and other high value items. The IT manager was convicted in a Czech court and virtually all the stolen money was recovered. This case was converted into a film by the client and then used in compliance training worldwide. Re GEC.

♦ We were instructed by liquidators to investigate the activities of an insurance group operating over many years in the UK and Gibraltar. We uncovered a fraud on bondholders, whose origins were in the early 1990’s but had been hidden by accounting manipulation so that the full extent of the fraud was not revealed until 2005, after the death of the Chairman. The fraud involved the issuing of bonds on the Irish stock market in 1999 and then using the proceeds to repay bondholders where the assets supporting the original issue had declined to a virtually nil value. This is a type of Ponzi fraud and our report has been used as a basis for taking action against the deceased’s estate and various professional advisers. The claims amount to many millions of pounds – Re EAG

Frauds within central government agencies
♦ We were instructed by the MOD Police to investigate a suspected fraudulent conspiracy involving bid rigging and other related frauds apparently undertake by a group of small builders and architects involved in repairing and improving MOD properties. The investigation revealed many systems faults in the bidding system and resulted in the removal of those contractors from the MOD approved list. Although major system improvements arose the matter did not move onto a prosecution. Re MOD