Fraud has become a big concern in England and Wales today and as a result, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was set up. There are many reasons why you may have contact with the Serious Fraud office and it is important that you have legal advice from fraud specialist solicitors.
The Serious Fraud Office’s role is to investigate allegations of serious and complex fraud cases and cases of bribery or corruption. Once they have been able to prove a case they will then prosecute those involved, looking to secure a conviction and also to recover any proceeds of crime.
The SFO has classified each type of fraud so it is easier to understand how fraud can impact you or your business. Fraud can occur:
- As an individual
- In your business
- In a charity
- In the public sector
- Against the treasury
- On the market as a whole
Whilst most types of fraud are dealt with by the police, the SFO gets involved when it is satisfied that there is a large scale loss or potential loss, that there will be an impact on the economy, that the reputation of our country will be adversely affected or there are sufficient legal complexities to warrant their involvement.
The SFO works closely with a number of other agencies, but does not work directly with the victims of serious fraud. Their role is to carry out the investigations which are serious, complex and which could be damaging to the country as a whole.
This can include bribery, kickbacks, corporate spying, commissions or fees, extortion or illegal gratuities and this does include any cases involving other countries overseas.
If you become aware of your organisation’s actions and you believe they are operating fraudulently or are in fact offer bribes or acting corruptly in certain circumstances, then you can self-report. The SFO may offer some opportunities to avoid prosecution in these circumstances, but you should probably obtain clear and specialist legal advice first.
If you would like to know more about how we can help you if you are caught up in a SFO investigation, contact us now on 0333 009 6275. We are fraud specialist solicitors who can help you.
Please note: This article does not constitute legal advice and you should talk to an experienced solicitor about your particular situation.