Have you been accused of fraud offences?

We have a team of experienced fraud solicitors in Leeds who are ready to help you fight the allegations being made against you. Whether you know you are the subject of a fraud investigation, are due to be questioned by police or have already been charged with fraud offences, the sooner you talk to our fraud lawyers the more help they are able to provide.
You are bound to be feeling the strain of what is a worrying and uncertain time. Our fraud solicitors can help to alleviate some of the stress and answer the questions you have, while providing expert guidance to bring the situation to a successful resolution.
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Why choose our fraud solicitors to defend you?

Our team of Leeds fraud solicitors are specialists. They deal with fraud cases day in, day out, which means they have unrivalled expertise in defending clients accused of fraud.

Which fraud charges are you facing?

Fraud is a general term for deceiving someone or using criminal dishonesty in order to make a gain from a victim, or cause the victim to suffer a loss. Different types of fraud are prosecuted in different ways, but many of the main fraud offences are covered by the Fraud Act 2006. 

Some of the most common fraud charges are:

Fraud by False Representation

Fraud by false representation is an offence under the Fraud Act 2006. It involves making a dishonest or misleading representation of fact or law to make a gain or cause a loss to someone. This covers a very wide range of criminal behaviour, including everything from eating in a restaurant and leaving without paying through to operating a Ponzi scheme.

Why have you been charged with fraud by false representation?

Police believe you have knowingly committed an act that would be considered dishonest by the ordinary standards of reasonable, honest people. The accusation is that you deliberately carried out the dishonest behaviour in order to make a criminal gain. The fact you have been charged means the Crown Prosecution Service agreed that the evidence against you meets the threshold needed in order to prosecute you.

What can you expect after being charged with fraud by false representation?

This offence is triable either way, so your case could be heard in its entirety by a district judge at a magistrates’ court. Alternatively, it could be heard by a judge and jury at the Crown Court. Generally, more serious cases – involving larger frauds or aggravating factors – will be heard at the Crown Court.

If your case does go to trial at the Crown Court, the prosecution and defence will each present their cases to the jury, who will deliver a verdict as to whether you are guilty or not guilty. If the jury finds you guilty, the judge will sentence you.

Can you go to jail for fraud by false representation?

Yes, a custodial sentence is a very real possibility if you are found guilty of fraud by false representation. The maximum sentence is 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine.

Sentences of that length are reserved for the most serious frauds. The length of sentence is determined by several factors, including the size of the fraud, any abuses of power or trust involved in the fraud, and previous convictions.

Six months’ imprisonment is the maximum sentence if your case is heard at a magistrates’ court.

Fraud by failing to disclose information

Fraud by failing to disclose information is another offence under the Fraud Act 2006. It is committed when an individual withholds information that they had a legal duty to disclose in order to make a gain or cause a loss. The crime relates to withholding the information, not whether it succeeded in deceiving someone and ultimately resulted in a gain being made or a loss caused.

Why have you been charged with fraud by failing to disclose information?

In order for you to be charged with this offence, you are accused of not disclosing information that you had a legal duty to disclose. This situation might have arisen under contract law, as a result of your professional relationship with a client, when claiming benefits, in insurance claims or a host of other scenarios.

Whatever the allegations, the Crown Prosecution Service has agreed with police that the evidence against you is sufficient for you to be prosecuted.

What can you expect after being charged with fraud by failing to disclose information?

The charge of fraud by failing to disclose information is triable either way, so it could be heard at a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court. As a rule of thumb, the court in which your case will be heard will be determined by the size of the alleged fraud, with larger frauds being heard at the Crown Court.

Can you go to jail for fraud by failing to disclose information?

Yes, there is a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for fraud by failing to disclose information, or six months if your case is heard at a magistrates’ court.

Longer prison sentences are reserved for frauds in which there are a large number of victims, the victim or victims were targeted based on their vulnerability, the fraudulent activity was carried out over a long period of time, and other aggravating factors.

Fraud by abuse of power

Fraud by abuse of power is an offence under the Fraud Act 2006 and is committed by abusing a position of trust to make a gain or cause a loss. This can happen when an individual who was expected to safeguard the financial interests of another person acts dishonestly in order to defraud them. There is no requirement for the fraud to have successfully or to have resulted in a gain or loss in order for an offence to have been committed.

Why have you been charged with fraud by abuse of power?

A police investigation – or an investigation by another authority, such as the Serious Fraud Office – has uncovered evidence that you committed fraud by abuse of power. The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised police to charge you on the basis that the evidence against you meets the threshold for doing so.

What can you expect after being charged with fraud by abuse of power?

Fraud by abuse of power cases may be heard at either a magistrates’ court or the Crown Court. This will normally be determined by the seriousness of the allegations and the scale of the alleged fraud. If your case goes to trial at Crown Court, it will be heard by a judge and jury. The jury will deliver a verdict as to whether you are guilty or not guilty of fraud by abuse of power. If you are found guilty, you will later be sentenced by the judge.

Can you go to jail for fraud by abuse of power?

Yes, fraud by abuse of power is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 10 years if your case is heard at the Crown Court. At a magistrates’ court, the maximum sentence is six months’ imprisonment.

The nature of fraud by abuse of power means the offence often entails some of the aggravating factors that result in longer sentences, such as abuse of a position of power, trust or responsibility and deliberately targeting a victim on the basis of vulnerability.

Conspiracy to defraud

Unlike the offences above, conspiracy to defraud is not prosecuted under the Fraud Act 2006 and is a common law offence. Conspiracy to defraud is the act of working in agreement with at least one other person to deprive another person of something that belongs to them or to which they are entitled.

Why have you been charged with conspiracy to defraud?

If you have been charged with conspiracy to defraud, the prosecution is alleging that you have conspired with others to defraud a third party.

The fact that you are charged with this particular offence would suggest you have a considerable number of co-defendants. The Crown Prosecution Service generally favours this charge when large numbers of people are accused of working together to make money by dishonest means, such as through pyramid investment schemes, boiler room scams and advance fee frauds.

It is also used when the evidence is too complex or too weak for there to be a successful prosecution under one of the Fraud Act 2006 offences.

What can you expect after being charged with conspiracy to defraud?

This is a serious charge that is triable on indictment only, which means it has to be heard at the Crown Court. The prosecution and defence will each present evidence to the jury, who will decide if you are guilty or not guilty of conspiracy to defraud. If the jury finds you guilty, the judge will then sentence you.

Can I go to jail for conspiracy to defraud?

Yes, you can be imprisoned for a maximum of 10 years for conspiracy to defraud.

Get in touch for a free consultation with our fraud solicitors in Leeds.

Fraud allegations are very serious and carry the risk of lengthy prison sentences. It makes sense to have specialist fraud lawyers defending you against them. To discuss your case with our Leeds fraud solicitors please arrange a free initial consultation. You can talk to us in person, by video or over the phone.