Fraud is a financial crime that broadly involves an element of deception: it’s where a false pretence is used to cause someone to do something they otherwise would not have done (or vice versa). It, therefore, covers many different types of criminal conduct that a business can be investigated and prosecuted for in Scotland. These include the common law crimes of fraud, attempted fraud and uttering, as well as a vast number of statutory offences such as fraudulent trading, misleading financial statements or commercial practices and money laundering.
Financial crimes alleged to have been committed by businesses, such as those above, are taken very seriously by the authorities. Police Scotland has economic crime units dedicated to investigating fraud cases, as does the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), whose Economic Crime Unit oversees more serious and complex frauds. Frauds that are alleged to have been committed in Scotland and have consequences in another part of the UK or overseas may also attract the attention of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
A business fraud conviction in Scotland can have very serious consequences for both individuals and businesses. Criminal penalties can include imprisonment and an unlimited fine for individuals, while civil action may also be taken under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to confiscate funds that are deemed to have come from, or might be used in the furtherance of, criminal conduct. Businesses and individuals regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) may also face an investigation and sanctions.
The authorities have vast powers when it comes to investigating allegations of business fraud, including those that allow them to search premises and compel businesses to disclose documents. However, there are protections available for individuals and businesses aimed at preventing the authorities from overstretching their reach. It be effective, these protections must be properly and strategically deployed. If you or your business has been accused of fraud, it’s therefore vital to get the support of specialist criminal defence lawyers as soon as possible. They will be able to help mitigate the consequences and make sure your rights are not only protected but also respected by the authorities.
Business Fraud Defence Experts in Alloa, Fife, Stirling, Dundee & Scotland
At Martin, Johnston and Socha, our team of specialist criminal defence lawyers have been defending clients facing allegations of business fraud for many years. We’re well-known for our experience navigating the criminal justice system and our thorough, technical and proactive approach, especially to complex business fraud cases. Our legal firm is widely recognised as one of Scotland's leading criminal defence teams and someone will be available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We regularly help individuals and businesses facing allegations of corporate fraud protect their interests. Working closely with our clients, we design and implement effective defence strategies, including during the investigation stage and, if things are taken further, during criminal proceedings. We pride ourselves on scrutinising allegations made against our clients and forensically analysing evidence, all aimed at ensuring our clients have the strongest defence possible.
Contact Our Business Fraud Defence Lawyers Scotland
If you have been accused of business fraud, contact our business fraud defence lawyers now. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We defend our clients, wherever in Scotland they’re based, including those in Alloa, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Dundee, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Methil, Perth and Stirling.
Our criminal solicitors can assist by discussing your options with you confidentially, and are ready to fight your corner. We provide a fully comprehensive legal service from liaising with the police through to representing you in court. Call our criminal defence lawyers for a free, initial consultation in Dunfermline on 01383 730 466, in Kirkcaldy on 01592 640 680, in Alloa on 01259 725 922 or make an online enquiry.