Fraud by False Representation
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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 397200.
Tags: case studies, fraud by false representation