Birchfields are specialists in investigating financial fraud. Our team has extensive experience of cases involving fraud and alleged fraud and can be used at any stage of the investigation. We are commonly invited by business owners to investigate potential fraud, e.g. suspicion of theft by staff, and to confidentially discover the full nature of the activity and report on the financial effect.
In a preventative role, we are well positioned to provide advice to business owners on how to improve systems to reduce the risk of fraud.
In this case our team was instructed to investigate the financial activities of a Defendant accused of fraudulently obtaining £100,000 in commissions from his employer, a software provider.
The Defendant had created a complex web of invoices, credit notes, cancellations and replacement invoices designed to boost monthly sales and increase the amount of sales commissions due to him from his employer.
Acting for the Defendant, Graham Garbett prepared a report based on a detailed examination of the employer’s financial affairs and interrogation of the company’s computer systems and audit trail.
Graham identified specific transactions where there was clear evidence that the Defendant had benefitted from commissions not due, but was also able to identify and quantify many transactions where there was an element of doubt as to whether the Defendant had benefitted. There were substantial gaps in the audit trail, and poorly organised record retention, to the extent that, with Graham’s assistance, the Defendant was able to successfully argue that there was a lack of evidence supporting approximately 80% of the Prosecution’s case.
The Court confirmed that the Defendant was required to repay the amounts fraudulently obtained, but only those where the evidence was clear. The employer learned a valuable lesson, and has subsequently spent considerable effort tightening up their sales recording systems and controls.
Our team investigated a business involved in the distribution of mobile phones, buying large quantities from distributers and selling smaller quantities to other distributers. A small margin was made on each transaction.
The chain of distributers was extensive and at least one of the chain disappeared, owing a large amount of VAT. HM Revenue & Customs commenced a detailed investigation on a number of the members of the chain, including the client, while withholding a large VAT refund.
Our team prepared a comprehensive report which reconciled the whole of the client's sales and goods purchased history to stock movements and individual suppliers and customers.
Our team were able to prove that the client had accounted for all transactions and taxes correctly and therefore put forward a strong argument that the case against the client should be dropped.
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