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False Accounting Solicitors




False accounting is the dishonest destroying or altering of accounts records with a view to making a gain or causing a loss to another.


It is covered under the Theft Act 1968 s17 – 


(1)Where a person dishonestly, with a view to gain for himself or another or with intent to cause loss to another,—

(a)destroys, defaces, conceals or falsifies any account or any record or document made or required for any accounting purpose; or

(b)in furnishing information for any purpose produces or makes use of any account, or any such record or document as aforesaid, which to his knowledge is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular;

he shall, on conviction on indictment, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

(2)For purposes of this section a person who makes or concurs in making in an account or other document an entry which is or may be misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular, or who omits or concurs in omitting a material particular from an account or other document, is to be treated as falsifying the account or document.


This can be to cover up something that has happened or to try and give a false impression to get credit or make a business seem more successful than it is.




These can be very complex cases, expert examination of the records is often required. Often people are accused of this when in reality they are guilty of nothing more than bad book keeping. It is very tempting to try and cut costs in business, especially when you first start. It is easy to think that you can do everything yourself and your books and accounts end up in a mess. From the prosecutions point of view this will be evidence of dishonesty when the truth is you just messed up when doing your books.


The prosecution have to show that you were dishonest. It is therefore a defence to say that despite the actions you were not dishonest.


There may be other explanations for the actions that the prosecution allege against you, it is important to establish these at an early stage.




False accounting charges can be heard in the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. The maximum penalty in the Crown Court is 7 years imprisonment.


The court will take into account a number of factors, the money involved, your role in the offence, how long the offence went on for.


Prison sentences are common for this type of offence but can be avoided even for offences involving up to £50,000




We can help distinguish between genuine errors on your behalf and show the prosecution that you were not dishonest and not guilty of the offence. It is important that we get involved from an early stage so that we can try and avoid a prosecution. We will represent you in a robust and pro active manner.



For free and supportive initial advice call us on

01623 397200