Fraud by false representation is when someone dishonestly makes an untrue or misleading representation with the intention of making a gain for himself or causing loss to another.
If you have been charged with fraud by false representation, or you are currently released under investigation, please contact us at Ashmans Solicitors. Our specialist fraud solicitors can represent you throughout proceedings, securing a positive outcome on your behalf. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fraud is a criminal offence in the UK, as governed by the Fraud Act 2006. The legislation introduces three main ways of committing fraud – one of which is fraud by false representation. This is dealt with under Section 2 of the Act.
Fraud by false representation is when someone:
- Dishonestly makes a false representation, and he/she
- Knows that the representation is (or might be) untrue or misleading, and he/she
- Does so with the intention of making a gain for himself/herself, or to cause a loss to another, or expose another to a risk of loss
The court is not concerned as to whether a gain or loss actually occurred. If the defendant intended to bring about either scenario, the charge of fraud by false representation can be upheld.
Examples of fraud by false representation
There are various actions that might amount to fraud by false representation. Really, it is any situation in which false statements are made for your own advantage, or to cause another party loss. Examples include:
- Exaggerating your income on a mortgage application form
- Falsifying details to obtain a credit card
- Selling assets that are not yours to sell, or that do not exist
- Claiming for costs that were never incurred
What are the penalties for fraud by false representation?
Fraud is considered a serious offence in the UK. Being convicted of fraud by false representation carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine. However, the maximum sentence is only handed out in the most serious of cases. It is possible for minor charges can be dealt with on a summary basis, at the Magistrates Court.
There may also be other consequences of a conviction. Most notably, the authorities may pursue Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings against anyone convicted under the Fraud Act 2006. This could lead to a Confiscation Order, whereby you are tasked with repaying any money made by way of fraudulent activity.
What happens if I’m investigated for fraud by false representation?
You might not realise you are being investigated for fraud by false representation until you are invited for a police interview. In the meantime, you may be placed under surveillance. The police can also get a search warrant for your home and your workplace.
If you are asked to attend the police station for an interview, you should ask a fraud solicitor to accompany you. You will be asked questions about your activity. These can be difficult to answer, as the police may withhold certain information from you, in the hope that you incriminate yourself. A fraud solicitor can guide you through police interviews, ensuring you do not accidentally damage your case.
You may also be subject to a Restraint Order. This effectively freezes your assets, pending the outcome of the investigation. This can make life very difficult, particularly as fraud investigations can continue for months, even years. A fraud solicitor can apply to the court to vary the order, alleviating the pressure on you and your family (and, if applicable, your business).
If the police decide there are sufficient grounds to lay charges, your case will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). A date will be set for a hearing at a Magistrates Court. Most cases then proceed to the Crown Court where there will either be a trial (if you plead not guilty) or a sentencing hearing (if you plead guilty).
Defending allegations of fraud by false representation
Fraud solicitors can help you defend allegations of fraud by false representation. There are times when the authorities mistakenly accuse people of fraud. These errors need to be brought to light as soon as possible, thereby quashing the prosecution’s case. Doing so can be a long and complicated process, often necessitating the help of a forensic accountant.
This is precisely what happened in the case of R –v- CV, in which our client was accused of claiming transport goods on behalf of his company. The prosecution argued that another company had in fact completed the work. We analysed our client’s company records, a painstaking exercise that resulted in us creating a comprehensive defence bundle. Thanks to this analysis, the judge ruled in our client’s favour and one of the charges against him was dropped.
As this case goes to show, defending allegations of fraud by false representation are possible. However, it takes a specialist fraud solicitor to succeed.
Speak to our fraud solicitors London
Fraud by false representation is one of the most common types of fraud. If such allegations have been made against you, you need a fraud solicitor on your side. We will work alongside some of the country’s leading barristers and forensic experts to overturn the charges. We will also address any other consequences that sometimes arise during fraud proceedings, such as Restraint Orders and Confiscation Orders.