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From fraud to money laundering, financial crimes can manifest in a myriad of ways and occur all over the UK. Financial greed, desperate situations and a disposition for criminality are just some of the factors that motivate people to commit financial crimes and behave unlawfully. Crimes can be large in scale, involve huge sums of money and multiple parties or they can be personal disputes relating to insurance or accident claims that involve only individuals. It’s the job of a certified forensic accountant who serves as a forensic accounting expert witness to use their expertise in finance to investigate these cases. Here are some of areas of expertise a forensic accounting expert witness can operate in and provide a forensic accounting report for:
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A forensic accounting expert witness has the ability to analyse and interpret complicated financial data in order to help legal professionals defend or prosecute those involved. Forensic accountancy expert witnesses can use their knowledge of financial procedures to solve problems and interpret what has happened in the crime in order to help determine its nature and who is responsible. Financial data is complicated to understand and requires the input of a specialist in order to untangle which is where a forensic accounting expert witness comes in: to make sense of the numbers and offer a reasoned, impartial judgement.
Foresight have linked up with a number of leading partner forms to meet all of our clients forensic accounting expert witness requirements all over the UK. For over a decade we have worked on expanding and improving our network so that we can provide a comprehensive expert witness service that gives our clients everything they need to put forward a strong legal case. We are always adding new areas of forensic accounting expertise to our network but we only move into new areas of expert witness provision when we have verified their expert status and their skills.
We’re proud of our reputation among legal professionals and solicitors as a company who provides an unrivalled level of expert witness service. Our network comprises of the very best expert witnesses available in the industry and in the UK who are committed to providing forensic accounting reports to the deadline and the budget that you provide. Any expert witness that joins our network must have demonstrable experience in providing exemplary service and professionalism in their specialist area, ensuring that you’re given only the highest quality expert witnesses.
Our forensic accountancy expert witnesses can be involved at the earliest stages of a legal case and will use their commercial experience to help the solicitor from the commencement of the dispute. The same certified forensic accountant will work on the case throughout the entire legal process from initial report preparation right through to court appearance. The forensic accounting expert would work with solicitors as part of an integrated team, ensuring that the client obtains maximum value and effectiveness from our expertise. In whatever capacity our team is appointed, the objective is to offer constructive opinions that help minimise the time, cost and risks of legal proceedings and to achieve practical and early settlements. Contact us here to learn more about our forensic accounting expert witnesses. If you want to know what a forensic accountant expert witness can bring to your legal case, read our article: >>
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Arthur ran a café in Rotherham. One day in January 2004, whilst in his café, he sold half a kilogramme of cocaine to Peter - not realising that Peter was an undercover police officer. Arthur was subsequently convicted of an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In the confiscation proceedings that followed the Regional Asset Recovery Team calculated Arthur's benefit of his 'criminal lifestyle' as nearly £400,000. We were instructed by the defence to critically examine the RART report.
We undertook an extremely detailed examination of Arthur's income and expenditure covering the period from a date 6 years prior to his arrest up to the date of our report, and his assets held since conviction.
Our examination confirmed some of the allegations in the RART report (particularly in relation to previous mortgage applications having been made on the basis of false income details), but enabled other previously unexplained items to be satisfactorily resolved.
Immediately prior to the scheduled court hearing the RART and Arthur agreed a benefit figure of just over £100,000 based on our report.
In 2002 Daniel met a man in a pub in Norwich who offered to sell him a nearly new Mercedes car, worth approximately £30,000, for £4,000 cash in hand. Daniel bought the car. Later the same year Daniel traded-in the Mercedes with the same man and, on payment of a further £1,000 in cash, acquired a nearly new BMW worth approximately £35,000.
Some months later Daniel was stopped whilst speeding on Norwich by-pass in his BMW. Police enquiries revealed the car had been stolen and, by checking Daniel's motor insurance history, the police also uncovered his previous ownership of the Mercedes (which also proved to have been stolen). Daniel was convicted on two counts of handling stolen property.
Confiscation proceedings were initiated. A report from the local Regional Asset Recovery Team, relying upon the statutory assumptions contained in section 72AA (4) Criminal Justice Act 1988 (as inserted by the Proceeds of Crime Act 1995) was prepared. This calculated Daniel's benefit from crime as just over £250,000.
We were instructed by the defence to give an opinion on the validity of this benefit figure.
There was evidence that Daniel was engaged in legitimate gambling on a substantial scale. He had accounts with national firms of bookmakers and monies were paid to these firms by direct debit from his bank accounts. Winnings were similarly received by direct credit into his bank accounts. Indeed Daniel had several bank and building society accounts in which there had been numerous deposits and withdrawals over the six year period prior to his arrest and charge in connection with the stolen cars.
Daniel also informed his solicitors that he was an active gambler in cash at local bookmakers and that he made a substantial income from his cash betting (although the evidence showed that he had lost money overall on the betting conducted through his bank accounts). He had not retained any records or evidence in relation to the cash betting.
We were able to show that the RART calculations were flawed in a number of respects. In particular where Daniel had transferred money between his various bank and building society accounts the RART had treated the deposits as assumed additional proceeds of crime.
Also the RART calculations had included one of Daniel's bank accounts twice, describing it as a Barclays account on the first occasion and, erroneously, as an HSBC account on the other.
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