Corporate crime & investigations
Fraudulent and illegal activities
Clients include corporations and individuals where it is alleged that fraudulent and illegal activities have occurred within their businesses. Such activity may have been identified internally or as a result of an investigation by the financial, tax and regulatory authorities such as the Serious Fraud Office, the Police, Trading Standards Departments, the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency, HM Revenue and Customs and the Financial Conduct Authority.
Fraudulent and illegal activities include bribery and corruption, tax fraud, procurement fraud, false accounting, commodities and currency frauds, bank fraud, insider dealing, money laundering, cartels, sanctions breaches, LIBOR and FX benchmark fixing.
Our specialist fraud services include:
- defending those against whom allegations of fraud have been made, both corporate entities and individuals
- helping the victims of fraud to find, preserve and recover stolen money or assets
- Representing witnesses in fraud cases
- advising whistleblowers
- advice on fraud prevention, corporate governance and crisis management
- advice and representation in all types of investigation including regulatory, tax and company investigations and investigations of a disciplinary nature
- representation in restraint and confiscation proceedings
- representation in extradition proceedings
- urgent advice and assistance following a dawn raid
Restraint and confiscation
Clients benefit from advice on the impact of restraint of assets, asset forfeiture and confiscation. The consequences of restraint and confiscation for defendants (and their families and dependents) are often as serious as those in the criminal proceedings themselves. The default sentences imposed in confiscation proceedings can often be longer than those for the original offence.
The Bribery Act requires corporations to ensure that their anti-corruption procedures will protect them from potential criminal liability and unlimited fines. Corporations will not only be responsible for the activities of their employees, but also of their agents and affiliates. This will require systems and controls to be in place in your organisation and enhanced due diligence of the systems and controls of those working with you.
We are experienced in defending bribery and corruption inquiries, advising on the conduct of internal investigations where there is a suspicion of bribery and corruption and providing due diligence and risk management advice to organisations and individuals involved in contracts and making payments abroad.
We have considerable experience of investigations including HM Revenue and Customs investigations and prosecutions into breaches of export control legislation; SFO investigations into bribery, corruption and other suspected fraudulent activity, FCA investigations into insider dealing and other aligned criminal enforcement agencies investigations and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (‘DBIS’) investigations into wrongful and fraudulent trading including Director Disqualification investigations and Health and Safety Executive corporate manslaughter investigations.
There are a few countries which have enhanced restrictions by way of sanctions. These sanctions include freezing the assets of key individuals and their families and arms embargos. We can advise you to make sure that your business does not breach UN, EU or UK sanctions as well as being available to advise you in the event of a criminal investigation or prosecution.
The money laundering regime in every international jurisdiction brings with it very serious criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for breaches, whether negligent or deliberate. All businesses, whether in the regulated sector or not, need to be aware of the implications of the money laundering regimes in the jurisdictions within which they operate.
We can undertake compliance checks to ensure that you are managing the risk and fulfilling your duties under the relevant legislation and that you have adequate internal controls, suitable due diligence, adequate staff training and record keeping. We can also advise corporations on money laundering issues and we can offer representation in an investigation or prosecution.
Recent work in the corporate crime area includes advising:
- in the ongoing EURIBOR proceedings brought by the SFO
- in relation to LIBOR and FX fixing investigations
- an Asian multi-national corporation on fraud and corruption allegations, dealing with investigation by three different regulatory agencies based in three jurisdictions
- a multi-national corporation on an investigation into alleged price fixing
- an international company on an SFO investigation into bribery and corruption
- directors/employees of companies interviewed and/or prosecuted as a result of SFO investigations into company contracts/corruption
- on the litigation of some of the biggest corruption scandals of the last decade including ‘Cash for Honours’, ‘Oil for Food’, and ‘the BAE case’
- on one of the largest FCA criminal insider dealing cases
- on the FX and LIBOR investigations
- in sports corruption investigation
- corporation on export control breaches
- on sanctions breaches.