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Fraud Private

Many frauds go undetected for periods of time. The investigation of a fraud is time consuming and complex. It requires a great deal of resources and time to build a successful prosecution case against a fraudster.

Fraud is a serious concern. It can lead to significant losses and in some cases, damage personal lives. Opportunistic fraudsters continue to find new and different ways to commit crimes and wrongdoing, this together with new technologies and our reliance on digital transactions on a global level, suggests the growth in fraud will continue.

How you can get your money back?

Even after the Judgment is issued by the Court, these persistent fraudsters may not pay the amount they have been ordered to do so. Furthermore, they take great steps to hide their money and assets. This can lead to satellite litigation and it can take years to finally recover some money. For this reason (and other reasons) many of our clients turn to pursuing a private criminal prosecution.

Catching fraudsters

Any victim of a fraud has the ability to bring a private criminal prosecution in the Crown Court to bring the fraudster to justice. The maximum prison sentence is 10 years under the Fraud Act. This is a heavy penalty and acts as a strong deterrent. In addition, it is usually substantially cheaper and quicker than a civil action. Why pursue a private criminal prosecution versus public criminal prosecution? Because savvy private and public organizations, charities and individuals realise that the Police is inundated and cannot cope with the ongoing pressures on their resources and that only a tiny percentage of frauds are ever investigated let alone actually criminally prosecuted. 

Here is another instance where a private criminal prosecution can be the preferred route. The pursuit of directors who have acted fraudulently through their limited liability companies is common.

In civil cases it is very difficult to pierce the corporate veil. Nonetheless, under s.993 of the Companies Act, it is possible to bring a private criminal action against the fraudulent directors of a front company and, thereby, make them personally liable for the wrongdoing.

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