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Diversion Fraud

Duncan Lewis Business Fraud Solicitors – Diversion Fraud


Inward and outward diversion fraud can cost Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) millions in lost revenue and as a result, diversion fraud is prosecuted whenever possible.


Diversion fraud may relate to the import or export of prohibited products, as well as products such as wine, beer, spirits and cigarettes which avoid inward or outward excise duty.


Inward diversion fraud usually involves EU imports which are re-directed to the UK market without duty being paid, as a result of false documentation.


In some cases, inward diversion fraud may involve the same products which have been exported to the EU using false documentation to avoid duty.


Diversion fraud may involve forgery if there is a counterfeit UK warehouse stamp on the Accompanying Administrative Document (ADD) or the haulier’s Convention Marchandises Routiers (CMR) certificate, which is used as evidence that exported products have been delivered to an overseas warehouse.


Documentation showing the import and export of products may be forged to suggest goods are arriving and then leaving the UK; when, in fact, they have been diverted to other outlets in the UK for sale without duty having been paid to HMRC.


Diversion fraud prosecutions involve charges of fraudulently avoiding the payment of duty and are brought under the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979.


Investigations into diversion fraud at a business will be thorough and intrusive, and may also involve related businesses and individuals, such as hauliers, both in the UK and overseas.


It is vital to take expert legal advice if an investigation into diversion fraud has been launched, or there is a possibility that allegations of diversion fraud may be made or charges brought.


Duncan Lewis business fraud solicitors can advise on the process of investigating diversion fraud, and offer robust criminal defence services to clients for interview under caution.


In the early stages of any investigation, it is easy to make errors and misjudgements which may prejudice the outcome of a case at a later stage, or assume unfounded allegations of diversion fraud will eventually be resolved.


Allegations of diversion fraud damage business reputations and carry long custodial sentences and heavy financial penalties if a conviction is obtained.


In any investigation into diversion fraud, suspicion may fall on those innocent of any involvement, and taking legal advice is essential.


Our business fraud team can also advise on dealing with HMRC and can liaise with agencies involved in business fraud investigations, including:


  • City of London Police
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
  • Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • National Crime Agency (NCA)
  • Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
  • Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

The Duncan Lewis business fraud team has considerable expertise in handling very high court costs (VHCC) involving allegations of inward excise or outward excise diversion fraud, and can advise on cross-border cases involving fraud charges.


Duncan Lewis business fraud solicitors can also advise Confiscation Orders under Section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) – and civil asset recovery proceedings such as Restraint Orders under Section 5 of POCA.


Duncan Lewis Business Fraud Solicitors, Our reputation for excellence


Duncan Lewis' Crime department continues to be recognised as a Top Tier and recommended criminal defence practice by Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 edition for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud work.


Duncan Lewis business fraud solicitors have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system, and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in diversion fraud cases.


Duncan Lewis represents clients at police stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal, and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious fraud cases.


How to contact us


There are Duncan Lewis offices across England and Wales, and a fraud lawyer from Duncan Lewis can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes to advise on diversion fraud charges.


We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing business fraud charges. Call Duncan Lewis during office hours on 0333 772 0409 for expert legal advice on inward excise or outward excise diversion fraud.


For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.


When to contact us


Duncan Lewis advises clients who are facing business fraud charges, or who may be interviewed in relation to diversion fraud allegations, to contact us as soon as possible.


Duncan Lewis business fraud solicitors can advise even before a charge for diversion fraud is brought, and a solicitor from our specialist fraud department can attend a police station fraud interview conducted by the police, Serious Fraud Office or HM Revenue and Customs.


Duncan Lewis Business Fraud Solicitors, Legal Aid & Private Client


Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services. Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances.


Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.


In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, our business fraud solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation, with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.


In some criminal cases, after the event (ATE) insurance may be an option and Duncan Lewis will advise on an appropriate level of insurance to cover the potential costs of defending a criminal case and to pay any costs imposed by the court.


Call Duncan Lewis Business Fraud Solicitors to discuss inward or outward diversion fraud on 0333 772 0409.


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