Taking advice if you’re accused of a financial crime

by Direct 2 Lawyers on January 17, 2013

If you’ve been accused of a financial crime then you could be in very big trouble – this could lead to you losing your job and your freedom, even if you’re not convicted of the crime. It’s therefore extremely important to understand what you’re being accused of, what the potential penalties are, whether you’re potentially guilty of the offence, and how you should attempt to address any such accusations. We’ll therefore look at those issues in the following order in this post:

  1. What is a financial crime?
  2. What are the potential consequences of being accused of a financial crime?
  3. What should you do if you’re accused of a financial crime?

What is a financial crime?

When people think of the term “financial crime” they generally tend to conceptualize (rather unfairly) crime in the financial industry. However, although financial crime does occur in the financial industry, it also occurs in everyday public and private life. Financial crime is a broad category and there are many different “types” of financial crime. The following are the (relatively common) types of financial crime that occur

  1. Money-laundering
  2. Fraud (including fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation and fraudulent trading)
  3. Insider dealing
  4. Bribery
  5. Conspiracy to defraud

A recent example of a prosecution for fraud (which was actually connected with his employment in the financial industry) was Kweku Adeboli’s conviction for “rogue trading”.

What are the potential consequences of being accused of a financial crime?

Legally, you may incur both civil and criminal liability if you have engaged in a financial crime. If you engage in fraud, for example, you may be opening yourself up for tortious liability (the “tort of deceit”) or contractual liability, depending on the nature of the fraud. You may also find yourself subject to a police investigation and potentially prosecuted by the Criminal Prosecution Service. Further, allegations of financial crime can have serious repercussions on your professional and private life. You could end up losing your job and the allegations could potentially damage your social and family relationships. It’s therefore advisable that if you are accused of a financial crime (or any crime, generally) that you obtain advice from a criminal defence solicitor and (if you think your job is at risk) an employment law solicitor.

What should you do if you’re accused of a financial crime?

As above, it’s recommended that you first seek specialist advice from a solicitor in the appropriate field. You should also start trying to gather evidence which exonerates you from the accusations.

You can find advice on employees’ rights in an employment-context here and a section on criminal law at Direct 2 Lawyers is also being developed.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer advice from specialist criminal defence lawyers

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