Furlough Fraud Defence Solicitors
Facing prosecution or investigation for furlough fraud? We can offer clear legal advice and robust representation.
Concerned you may have made an honest mistake when claiming against either of the government’s coronavirus support schemes? We can provide proactive advice to help you avoid criminal proceedings.
Suspect someone else within your business may have committed furlough fraud? We can advise you on your options to avoid being held liable for someone else’s fraud.
Need advice in relation to whistleblowing? We can advise on the next steps to take.
HMRC have made clear that they will take action against anyone found to have dishonestly claimed under the coronavirus support schemes, including the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Potential penalties for furlough fraud include:
- A substantial term of imprisonment
- An unlimited fine
- Director disqualification
- The requirement to repay any payments to which the claimant was not entitled
Businesses could also suffer serious damage to their reputation if found guilty of furlough fraud.
ABR Solicitors are highly experienced in supporting clients facing investigation or prosecution for all types of fraud, so we are well placed to advise and represent businesses and individuals facing accusations of furlough fraud.
We represent clients all over the UK, regularly handling cases involving many millions of pounds. As such, we can provide seasoned expertise to give you the best chance of avoiding charges or securing the best available outcome where prosecution is unavoidable.
Our furlough fraud defence lawyers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be at your side for every stage of an investigation and any subsequent prosecution.
We are one of the leading business defence teams in the country. The prestigious Legal 500 client guide ranks us Tier 1 for General Crime and Tier 2 for Fraud in Yorkshire and the North East, while Chambers & Partners ranks us Band 1 for Crime and Band 2 for Financial Crime.
Our focus is on getting you the best available outcome, no matter your circumstances. To achieve this, we always take a pragmatic approach, including looking at options such as self-reporting.
If you are facing investigation or prosecution for furlough fraud, having ABR on your side from the outset will put you in the best possible position to protect your business and yourself.
Get immediate expert representation for a furlough fraud investigation or prosecution
What our specialist furlough fraud defence lawyers can offer you
ABR Solicitors has advised businesses, company directors, senior managers and self-employed people for many years in relation to various types of fraud. Our fraud defence solicitors can quickly assess your situation and provide clear, realistic advice on your legal position, the likely outcomes and your options.
We are recognised by the Legal Aid Agency (Ministry of Justice) as an expert legal firm able to handle the largest fraud cases prosecuted as we are a member of the Very High Cost Case panel.
ABR Solicitors holds the following awards:
- Fraud Law Firm of the year – UK (Corporate USA Awards 2019)
- Fraud Law firm of the year England (Global Law Experts Annual awards 2019)
- Best Fraud Law Firm – UK (Lawyers World 2019)
- Best Specialist Criminal Law Firm – England (Legal Awards 2019)
- Criminal law firm of the year-England (Lawyer International legal 100 awards 2019)
- Fraud lawyer of the year-UK Rob Rode (Finance Monthly Fintech Awards 2019)
We are independently recognised as one of the leading business defence teams in the country. We are ranked Band 1 for Crime and Band 2 for Financial Crime by leading client guide Chambers & Partners, while the prestigious Legal 500 client guide ranks us Tier 1 for General Crime and Tier 2 for Fraud in Yorkshire and the North East.
Rob Rode who leads the team is described as “an extremely impressive and dynamic team leader” who “combines fearless tenacity with an exceptionally personable attitude”. He is an “experienced charismatic fraud lawyer”.
How we can protect your business against accusations of furlough
Advice on whether furlough scheme rules have been breached
If you are being investigated by HMRC for furlough fraud, are worried you may have accidently breached the rules or think someone else in your business may have done so, the first step is to get clear advice on whether a breach has taken place.
Our fraud defence solicitors can review your records and advise on whether there is any reason for concern. If we believe a breach has occurred, we can advise you on your options to minimise the potential penalties and avoid criminal proceedings where possible.
HMRC have stated that their intention is to rectify any cases where genuine mistakes have been made and that criminal proceedings will only be pursued where they believe there is evidence of deliberate dishonesty. This means that, if you have made a genuine mistake, we may be able to negotiate repayment of the wrongly claimed funds and bring the matter to swift conclusion.
Self-reporting furlough fraud
If you are a company director or in a business partnership and believe someone within your business has committed furlough fraud, it is important to recognise that this could have serious consequences for your business and for you personally.
In such cases, self-reporting furlough fraud to HMRC may be the best option. This can potentially protect your company and yourself from the consequences of a criminal prosecution.
By self-reporting and working constructively with HMRC investigators, you can potentially see any proceedings against you. Our furlough fraud defence solicitors can advise you on whether self-reporting is likely to be appropriate for your circumstances. Where required, we can guide you through the process and give you the best chance of avoiding criminal proceedings.
Responding to an HMRC investigation for furlough fraud
Being investigated by HMRC can be confusing and very stressful. It is therefore essential to get clear advice on your legal position and what you need to do, including your legal responsibility to co-operate with HMRC investigators.
It is important to realise that any attempts to hinder a HMRC investigation for furlough fraud could result in even more serious penalties. At the same time, you must be extremely careful not to say or do anything which could undermine your defence if you are subsequently prosecuted.
Our team has many years of experience supporting clients through HMRC investigations. We can help you respond appropriately, making sure you disclose any requirement information in the right way while keeping your interests protected.
Furlough fraud prosecution defence
Should you be prosecuted for furlough fraud, you need to make sure you have the best possible defence. Conviction carries very serious penalties, including the potential for up to 10 years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine and director disqualification.
Our specialist fraud defence lawyers have an excellent success rate in defending clients prosecuted for fraud. We can offer seasoned expertise for every stage of a prosecution, ensuring your case is prepared effectively and that you know exactly what to expect.
We have excellent working relationships with a number of highly regarded specialist fraud defence barristers, so can make sure you have first-class representation in court. Wherever possible, we will help you to avoid conviction or secure lower penalties where conviction cannot be avoided.
Applications to vary restraint orders
Where HMRC believes that you have engaged in furlough, they may apply to a court for a restraint order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). Should a restraint order be granted, you could lose access to your personal property and bank accounts as well as your business assets.
We regularly advise clients dealing with restraint orders and have a very good track record of success in having the conditions or restraint orders varied to match our clients’ needs. Where you have been made subject to a restraint order, we will do everything we can to get you access to any property and assets you need for yourself, your family and your business.