Fraud By Abuse of Position
It was the day before Christmas Eve, normally where offices have got Christmas music blaring and staff playing Christmas themed crosswords and mentally “switching off” before the festive break.
Not Forrest Williams.
I received a call from a young woman who sounded very timid and worried. She had a court case currently underway and was using a Legal Aid solicitor who she didn’t feel was doing enough to help. She wanted to speak to someone who she felt would care about putting the effort into helping her. She came to the right firm.
Laura was under investigation for Fraud by abuse of position, namely that she had been working as a sales assistant and dishonestly abused this position to make a financial gain of £9,000.
Laura was very remorseful – she had been going through a lot personally and was trying to battle her depression by working through it when she should have been taking the time off work. She lashed out the only way she knew how.
Her court case was on New Year’s Eve. Instead of telling Laura we were unable to help due to the close proximity of her case and the time of year, I made sure I did everything possible to help her even though I was off over the festive period myself! I instantly provided her with all my contact details, promising to come back to her via email, call or text as soon as I could even when off work, and also rallied our amazing team together to make sure that everyone knew of Laura’s case and would be able to help during our minimum staffing levels.
When you call Forrest Williams your call is answered within 3 rings by a lawyer who can help. I wonder how many other firms would have offered Laura the same service, especially at Christmas time?
Laura appeared at the Magistrates Court on New Year’s Eve with an experienced criminal barrister to represent her. We were confident we had a fully prepared file; Laura was confident that her barrister would fight her corner. Imagine our surprise when the prosecution decided to replace Laura’s charge of fraud by abuse of position of £9,000 up to fraud by abuse of position of £30,000!
The case was sent up to the Crown Court. My constant liaison and pressure on the prosecution between the two hearings meant that I managed to secure Laura’s original charge and have the prosecution withdraw the higher amount of £30,000. The difference in terms of sentencing options for these two amounts was huge, with a custodial sentence much more likely for the higher amount. Laura was ecstatic and couldn’t believe that the hard work of Forrest Williams behind the scenes had managed to secure this.
Laura appeared at the Crown Court with the same barrister and we managed to work towards a favourable outcome for Laura. Her custodial sentence was suspended meaning Laura could now focus on working through her depression and concentrate on her upcoming wedding. She was eternally grateful for the determination of myself as her dedicated case worker, the friendly help of calling through to a member of the team willing to help on every phone call, and the continuity of the same barrister attending her hearings.
Switching from Legal Aid to a private firm potentially saved Laura from going to custody.
If you feel your Legal Aid firm aren’t doing their best to work on your case and want the full benefits of instructing privately; or you know your life is too important to risk not having the best legal help, please call our team on 01623 397200.