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Criminal Defence Blog

Archive for the ‘Fraud’ Category

Benefit Fraud Solicitors

benefit fraud solicitors

 

Benefit Fraud Solicitors

 

Maria Daker was represented at her sentencing hearing at Sheffield Crown Court this week by benefit fraud solicitors  Forrest Williams Legal Ltd.

 

Maria, who had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of dishonestly obtaining Pension Credit (benefit fraud), had feared an immediate custodial sentence for this offence.

 

However, as a result of Steve Williams’ mitigation, the District Judge did not sentence Maria as harshly as he could have done.

 

Maria, who had been prosecuted for claiming Pension Credit over a 10 year period to a total in excess of £60,000 explained to Steve when she first instructed our benefit fraud solicitors that she had believed she was entitled to Pension Credit. She stressed she had not intended to make a claim that was in any way dishonest.

 

At the time, she told Steve, she was in the process of setting up home abroad with her husband but that she was making regular visits back to the UK.

 

She said she believed she was entitled to Pension Credit by virtue of her age, and that she thought the claim forms she had completed over the years were just a formality.

 

She added, on further questioning, that the relationship with her husband had been an abusive one and that she had felt under some pressure, from him, to renew her claims for Pension Credit even when they were no longer living in the UK.

 

He had assaulted her and injured her, she told us, and they had split up on a number of occasions. She had returned to him mostly through fear of his reaction if she refused to do so.

 

After taking part in an interview under caution with staff from the Department for Work and Pensions, a decision had been made to charge Maria and set a court date.

 

The matter moved from the Magistrates’ Court in Sheffield to the Crown Court, and Maria was given an appointment to meet with a Probation Officer, who would compile a pre-sentencing report for the court.

 

Our benefit fraud solicitors were able to liaise with the Probation Officer, who shared her recommendations for the court: a suspended sentence order with a curfew requirement. The Probation Officer deemed Maria unsuitable for a period of unpaid work.

 

In line with the recommendations of the Probation Officer, and Steve’s mitigation, Maria was sentenced to 12 months custody, suspended for 12 months. A curfew requirement was made, with a curfew from 1pm to 9pm every day apart from Friday. In addition, Maria was also informed that a tag would be fitted to her for a period of 4 months.

 

Although the matter was not finalised at this point, as there is still a Proceeds of Crime Application to be heard in the New Year, Maria expressed her gratitude to Steve and his team for the support received thus far in her case.

 

Her biggest fear – an immediate custodial sentence – was avoided. For Maria, this meant everything on the day of the sentencing hearing.

 

That she can face the future – difficult though it will be – without having to experience life in prison as a 70 year old, is the most precious thing to Maria right now. The rest can be sorted out, with further professional assistance.

 

If you need benefit fraud solicitors, call our office today on 01623 600645 for free, initial advice.

 

Whiplash Fraud Solicitors

 

whiplash fraud solicitorsWhiplash Fraud Solicitors

 

Whiplash fraud is a hot topic currently, as the government continues to announce further reforms for the handling of personal injury claims and assessment.  While this area is under the spotlight, whiplash claims are being reviewed and the criminal justice system has shown its willingness to become involved to help curb whiplash fraud.

 

A West Midlands man was recently jailed for making false statements in a £15,000 claim.

 

Whiplash fraud cases are likely to be charged as fraud by false representations.

 

Charges of fraud by false representation are laid when a person is alleged to have made a false representation dishonestly, knowing that the representation was or might be untrue or misleading, with intent to make a gain for himself or another, to cause loss to another or to expose another to risk of loss.  It is important to note that a gain or loss does not have to occur, it being intended is sufficient.

 

It is important to note that a representation can include omissions, for example an omission to mention certain pieces of information, and can also include a failure to correct a false impression after a change in circumstances. 

 

A representation is “false” if it is untrue or misleading and the person making the representation knows that it is, or could be, untrue or misleading.

 

Your behaviour will be judged based on whether it would be considered dishonest by the standards of regular, reasonable and honest people.

 

As whiplash fraud solicitors, we review the evidence against you and pro-actively prepare your case to either build your strongest defence or gather mitigation for you.

 

Whiplash fraud, charged as fraud by false representations, carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.

 

It is vital that, if you are being investigated for whiplash fraud, you get the experts on your side at the earliest possible opportunity.  Our whiplash fraud solicitors are here to help on 0800 1933 999.

 

Fraud by False Representation

fraud by false representation

Fraud by False Representation

 

Do you need a fraud by false representation solicitor?

 

Forrest Williams can help.

 

We are specialists in this area and will prepare your case and support you without judgement.

 

When you see that somebody has been charged with Fraud, you think of a middle class man, probably a member of a high organisation who has been swindling the books to buy his second home in The Bahamas.

 

And as for Making off without payment, you envisage a young male speeding off in his modified Vauxhall Corsa from a petrol station after just filling up his tank, trying to get away without paying.

 

This was simply not the case for Steve.

 

Steve was a respectable man, who had always worked hard for his money, and had never been in trouble with the law before. Steve had a successful career which would be ruined if he was convicted of offences like these.

 

Steve was charged with Fraud by False Representation and Making off without payment.

 

Steve needed our help.

 

We quickly realised that there was much more to the story then just these two charges.

 

Steve was doing work for a company up North which in the end lasted almost a year. Steve decided that it would be easier just to move up there and stay in a B&B whilst the work was ongoing, rather than travelling up and down from home each week.

 

Steve had very good relations with the B&B manager and so payments were made on a very ad-hoc basis.

 

The Manager gave Steve partially completed receipts and told him to fill in the dates and the amounts when he paid them.  As these receipts were just for Steve’s records there was no issue with this at the time.

 

This was all fine until the manager started requesting large payments in advance to cover his own personal expenses such as Speeding Tickets, Tax bills etc.

 

The payments became very messy, and Steve suddenly found himself not knowing how much he was supposed to pay for his room.

 

As Steve was busy with work, he told the Manager of the B&B that there was a problem with his expenses and so he could not make these payments at the required times.

 

Steve’s plan was to try and sort out his finances and then he could go to the manager and tell him exactly what he owed and how it would be paid.

 

Unfortunately this didn’t happen. The matter quickly escalated and so Steve agreed to make three payments of £800 each, which would clear the balance.

 

He paid the first amount in full, on the date agreed. But then due to personal circumstances he had  to go back home and had to leave the B&B.

 

Steve left a cheque for the second payment in his room with his key and then left, telling the Manager that he would make the final payment on the date that was agreed previously.

 

The Manager claimed that he did not get this cheque or the message about the future payment and so contacted the police and Steve was charged with Making off without payment.

 

Steve contacted the Police and showed them the receipts that he had been given by the Manager and implied that this would show that he did not owe any more money to the B&B.

 

The Police found out that this was not the case, and so Steve was consequently charged with Fraud by False Representation.

 

Steve appointed us and told us he wished to plead Not Guilty on the basis that he didn’t leave without payment, he had left a cheque and had a payment plan set up; and that he didn’t intentionally try to mislead the police with these receipts, these were genuine receipts filled out for the amounts he had paid and it was a mistake that he regretted implying to the police that they were otherwise.

 

Steve asked us to prepare his trial, and arrange for him to be represented at the trial by a Specialist Fraud Barrister.

 

We appointed one of our Specialist Fraud Barristers, and started making preparations for the trial.

 

We requested the full file of evidence from the prosecution, took a full statement from Steve, and any papers/ documents that Steve had relating to the matter.

 

Once we had all of this we reviewed the case, and explained to Steve that there is a chance we could get the case dropped if we could liaise with the Prosecution and most importantly if he could repay the amount of money that was still owed to the B&B.

 

Steve quickly agreed.  This would mean that he would avoid being convicted of Fraud by False Representation, and Making off without payment, and he would avoid the stress and fees of taking the matter to a Crown Court trial.

 

We began immediately speaking with the Senior Prosecutor who was overseeing this case, and persuaded him that if Steve could repay the money, then the case would no longer be in the public interest to continue.

 

Between our liaisons with the Senior Prosecutor and our specialist fraud barrister, we had managed to get the Prosecution to agree to withdraw both charges of Fraud by False Representation and Making off without payment, if the fees for the B&B were repaid.  

 

Steve promptly paid the money owed into our client account where we transferred it over to the B&B. 

 

Nottingham Crown Court listed the matter for a Pre-Trial Review, where the Crown Prosecution Service formally requested that Not Guilty Verdicts were entered.

 

Steve was so relieved with this result. He had instructed us to prepare his case for trial. What we had managed to do instead was have him found Not Guilty of both charges without the need for a trial hearing.

 

Steve made the follow comments after his hearing;

 

“I should first thank you guys for providing me with superb representation – you obviously know your stuff!  But what impressed me was the way in which you made me feel at ease throughout what is a very stressful time for me.  I really can’t thank you enough for that and for guiding me through the whole process on the day.”

 

If you need help for fraud by false representation, call our expert team now on 01623 600645.

 

 

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