Criminal law case study - fraud allegations

June 10, 2014 tags: Blog

What would you do if the police were to knock on your door asking to see the occupier, search warrant in hand?

Just suppose you knew that you had not broken the law!

The Hon. Daniel Janner QC has very kindly provided the following story (which is based on similar cases) to showcase how his Criminal Law expertise could apply to any business person who co-directors are up to no good. We must, however, point out that some artistic licence has been applied and that Daniel did not actually defend this case as it is not a real case and has been drafted purely as an example. All that said, on with the story …..

In this example the warrant is signed by a judge and refers to the reason for the search: namely, suspected VAT fraud; and entitles the officers to search for and seize documents.

Fortunately Daniel’s client knows exactly what to do, he calls Daniel as soon as the police say that they want to interview him in two days time. Daniel advises that this is not fair without time to consider further details of the allegations, in other words disclosure is demanded.

The police interview is postponed for many weeks enabling proper consideration to be given to the allegations and how to respond in the police interview. In the event, it is decided not to answer any police questions but instead, to provide a detailed statement setting out the defence position. Nevertheless, Daniel’s client is charged with a multi-million pound fraud conspiracy.

During the year between being charged and the trial, Daniel regularly meets his client to prepare his defence. He represents him at the various hearings which preeced the trial so that by the time the case comes before the jury it is fully prepared and Daniel’s client knows and understands the procedures and what is to follow.

As with any criminal trial, stamina and patience is required, the prosecution takes many weeks to present its case.

Given that there are five defendants, the defence case also takes a long time with all five defendants chosing to give evidence to the jury.

After all the evidence is completed, Daniel makes a closing speech, after which the judge sums up the evidence.

Fortunately, the jury understand that Daniel’s client has not acted dishonestly but has got entangled in a fraud committed by others. Accordingly he is acquitted.

This fictitious example demonstrates the need for quality representation at an early stage in criminal proceedings; the value of hard work and the all-important key to success, which is preparation.


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