There are many aspects involving false accounting, but under Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968, false accounting is defined as an offence where an individual intentionally falsifies, alters or submits false, inaccurate or deceptive records for accounting purposes – in some cases, to make a company’s performance appear stronger than it is.
False accounting can involve tax or VAT records or any record needed for the purpose of accounts.
It may also apply to false or altered records or documents submitted for a business loan or grant.
False accounting is a serious crime and can carry a custodial sentence if a conviction is obtained. Those convicted of false accounting may lose their business, and will certainly lose their reputation.
There are also aggravating or mitigating factors in sentencing guidelines which can affect sentences for false accounting, for example, whether a breach of trust by a company director, employee or trustee was involved, as well as the purpose of the deception (e.g. money worries because of family illness or problems, or to lead a lavish lifestyle).
Allegations of false accounting need to be met with a robust defence, and it is vital to take legal advice from a business fraud solicitor with expertise in defending false accounting cases as soon as possible.
Investigations into false accounting can be complex, and will be thorough, and taking legal advice can help prevent errors and misjudgements at an early stage, which could turn out to prejudice the outcome of case later on.
Duncan Lewis business fraud solicitors have acknowledged expertise in defending business fraud cases, including false accounting, VAT fraud and tax fraud.
We can also liaise with agencies which may be involved in a fraud investigation, including:
The Duncan Lewis business fraud team can advise on low-value cases or very high court costs (VHCC) cases involving allegations of false accounting.
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.
Our 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 false accounting 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.
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 false accounting charges.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing fraud charges. Call Duncan Lewis during office hours on 0333 772 0409 for expert legal advice on false accounting and business fraud.
For 24/7 help at a police station, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis advises clients who are facing business fraud charges or who may be interviewed in relation to false accounting allegations to contact us as soon as possible.
Our business fraud solicitors can advise even before a charge for 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 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 false accounting allegations or charges on 0333 772 0409.