Cases - Bark Co Solicitors - Specialist Fraud Firm-blogger

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These are our some of our cases of note:
R v Nadir
Description: Bark & Co have been instructed by the former CEO of Polly Peck International (PPI) in an alleged multi-million pound fraud. The client faced 66 counts of Fraud & Theft, but failed to appear in the 1993 trial. Mr Nadir has returned to the UK to fight to clear his name.
The trial date is now set for January 2012.
Significance: One of the first high profile SFO prosecutions.
R v Ravjani & Others
Bark & Co represented a client accused significant involvement in a complex contra-trading MTIC fraud. The alleged fraud was of a scale that prompted the Government to proffer the case as an explanation as to why the UK balance of payments were adrift for a particular year. Unfortunately, reporting restrictions prevent us from publishing the full outcome at this time.
R v X
Description: This matter involves an insider trading investigation at a number of banks and hedge funds and other large financial institutions conducted by the FSA and SOCA which Reuters reports has “sent shockwaves through the country's financial industry”.
Significance: This case involves significant press interest and involves the representation of a director at a very high profile financial institution.

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Cases - Bark Co Solicitors - Specialist Fraud Firm-blogger

  1. 1. These are our some of our cases of note:R v NadirDescription: Bark & Co have been instructed by the former CEO of Polly PeckInternational (PPI) in an alleged multi-million pound fraud. The client faced 66counts of Fraud & Theft, but failed to appear in the 1993 trial. Mr Nadir has returnedto the UK to fight to clear his name.The trial date is now set for January 2012.Significance: One of the first high profile SFO prosecutions.R v Ravjani & OthersBark & Co represented a client accused significant involvement in a complexcontra-trading MTIC fraud. The alleged fraud was of a scale that prompted theGovernment to proffer the case as an explanation as to why the UK balance ofpayments were adrift for a particular year. Unfortunately, reporting restrictionsprevent us from publishing the full outcome at this time.RvXDescription: This matter involves an insider trading investigation at a number ofbanks and hedge funds and other large financial institutions conducted by the FSAand SOCA which Reuters reports has “sent shockwaves through the countrysfinancial industry”. Significance: This case involves significant press interest and involves therepresentation of a director at a very high profile financial institution.
  2. 2. R v CC & PFDescription: This case involves the arrest of nine directors of an ethical investmentcompany investing in the energy sector. The value of the alleged fraud, whichrelated to the company’s tax structure, is in excess of £85 million. It raises questionson the differences between tax evasion and tax avoidance. The company obtainedtax benefits for research and development in the energy sector and securedinvestment from 750 specialist private investors.Significance: This case will have far reaching consequences for the whole of theethical carbon offsetting industry, as well as for all companies with similar taxstructures. The company in question was advised by tax specialists and lawyersregarding the legislation involved. HMRC allege that the complex nature of therelated companies and tax structures were formed for the specific reason ofperpetrating a fraud while the company states that they were not only legitimate butstandard industry practice.R v F & P (Vantis Tax)Description: We acted for former senior executives for a specialist tax division ofVantis Plc defending allegations of cheating the public revenue. They bothvigorously deny the allegations made against them.Significance: This case involves extremely complex tax, share valuation and trustissues, and raises serious questions concerning the boundaries of tax avoidanceschemes and their use. It attracted significant media interest with coverage in thenationals and trade press.
  3. 3. R v S & OthersDescription: Bark & Co is representing a client who is involved in a wide ranging FSAinvestigation into an alleged 11-handed insider dealing fraud. This matter revolvesaround a spread-betting company that was used to place derivative trades on shareprice movements. Trades were made close to, or before, significant and unexpectedcompany announcements which influenced the share price in the direction of theplaced trade. It is alleged that a ring of traders, some of whom had no previousexperience in spread betting, were organised to perpetrate the fraud with the insiderinformation originating from two well-known investment banks.Significance: The value of the alleged fraud is over £3 million and involved insiderinformation on more than 25 companies that the investment banks dealt with. Thiscase is still at the investigation stage but charges are being brought.
  4. 4. R v W, W, W & D (Southwark Crown Court)Description: Our client is charged with conspiracy to defraud and moneylaundering offences. This case follows a joint FSA and City of London Policeoperation and investigation into a boiler room fraud. It is alleged that severalcompanies that were seeking venture capital were used as vehicles togenerate appropriate share capital to sell to victims based in the UK. Theboiler rooms were based overseas and unregulated by the FSA. Theygenerated over £30 million in income which was then filtered through acomplex network of companies and holding accounts and into UK andoffshore accounts.Significance: The fraud is so large that the FSA has determined that it islimiting the case to six primary front companies. Not only is this case a goodexample of the scale and increasing prevalence of this type of fraud, it alsodemonstrates how international operations are being used to bypass the UKfinancial regulators and authorities.
  5. 5. R v S, R, D, S, S & T (Southwark Crown Court)Description: This was a six-handed prosecution of the founders and associates ofthe “Confidential Access” website. Our client is alleged to have used his businessto facilitate the sale of false identity documents that were used to commit fraudand crime. The identity documents, which included passports, P45s, bankstatements and other financial and identity documents, were marketed and soldas legal “novelty items”, but their accuracy means they were used by clients whowere being investigated by the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism unit. In a jointoperation with the Hong Kong Organised Crime Team, the Confidential Accesswebsite was temporarily shut down and the servers and business records seized.The website subsequently reopened in another county and the authorities enteredinto an ongoing battle across several jurisdictions to force the website to closedown.Significance: This case provides a unique insight into the type of identity-basedfrauds that will become more commonplace in the future. It also shows thedifficulties involved in dealing with international and cross-jurisdictional issuessurrounding internet free trade and international payment systems. Notsurprisingly, the case attracted media attention, although the details remainconfidential.
  6. 6. R v L (Southwark Crown Court)Description: Our client in this case is being re-tried after a trial held in 2008 failedto reach a verdict. The client is charged with cheating the public revenue of £250million in a large-scale and complex MTIC VAT fraud in the mobile phone handsetmarket.Significance: The scale of the operation and subsequent investigation wasimpressive, with 42 arrests in 2003, 96 sets of premises searched and 260computers and 500,000 documents seized, as well as substantial amounts ofelectronic data. This fraud is serious and involves highly complex forensicaccountancy and international funds tracing aspects. Again, it has attractedconsiderable media attention.R v L (Southwark Crown Court)Description: iSoft was awarded a multi-million pound contract to implement an AllIreland software system. Bark & Co is representing a former director inconnection with alleged accounting irregularities in relation to this contract. Thiscase is in the FSAs own words the largest case they have ever investigated.Significance: iSoft were involved in the implementation of the new NHS ITsystem, a large and politically sensitive project and the case has receivedextensive press coverage. It has therefore required extremely sensitive handling.The issues involved are also particularly complex and involve forensic legal andaccountancy analysis.
  7. 7. iSoft related cases (representing X)Description: iSoft was awarded a multi-million pound contract to implement an All Irelandsoftware system. Bark & Co is representing a former director in connection with allegedaccounting irregularities in relation to this contract. This case is in the FSAs own words thelargest case they have ever investigated.Significance: iSoft were involved in the implementation of the new NHS IT system, a large andpolitically sensitive project and the case has received extensive press coverage. It has thereforerequired extremely sensitive handling. The issues involved are also particularly complex andinvolve forensic legal and accountancy analysis.RvRDescription: This is said to be among the biggest MTIC carousel frauds ever prosecuted. Itinvolves a particularly complex form of MTIC fraud called ‘contra-trading’. Here, the perpetratormixes a ‘clean’ chain of transactions and a ‘dirty’ chain. The key is that they act as importer inthe clean chain and exporter in the dirty one, therefore offsetting legal imports against illegalexports, making the VAT claim relatively balanced and the fraud far harder to detect.Significance: This case is said to be one of the biggest MTIC frauds ever prosecuted and involvesbillions of pounds worth of trade. It will give rise to national publicity and widespread publicconcern because MTIC fraud has become so widespread that it is responsible for the UK tradefigures being completely miscalculated. In this instance there has been £170 million of fraudidentified within the telecoms sector involving the international trading of mobile phones.Contra-trading is an increasing growth area of specialist defence where Bark & Co is among theleaders. This case has at present over 60,000 pages of exhibited prosecution materials with over100,000 expected, making the estimated cost of prosecuting the case substantial (more than£1million).
  8. 8. R v L, R & HDescription: This was a high-profile SFO prosecution concerning fraudulenttrading. The prosecution alleges that there was fraudulent trading over a 3-4 yearperiod at Alfred McAlpine Slate Limited. This took the form of false invoicing andthe concealment of the false information from the parent company, AlfredMcAlpine plc, and their auditors, by way of forged loans, invoices andmanipulation of management packs.Significance: This case was the subject of a three-month internal investigation byPMCE Coopers Waterhouse and the City law firm, Ashurst. Press interest is highand the case has appeared on Sky News, in The Times, and The Guardian, aswell as local papers, financial journals and Reuters. It is alleged that thediscovery of the fraud led to a drop in the McAlpine Slate share price andcontributed to the acquisition of McAlpine by Carillion plc. With over 50,000pages of served evidence, this case was both complex and high profile. Wewere successful in achieving a lenient sentence for our client.
  9. 9. R v Lord Rodley, Coyne & OthersDescription: This case involved a conspiracy to defraud the SMBC Bank inLondon of £227 million and money laundering the proceeds of the fraud. Asecurity guard at SMBC bank, who had access to its computer system,allowed two Belgium computer experts entry into the bank and access to thecomputer systems outside working hours. They hacked into the bank’ssystems to obtain passwords and to transfer funds to accounts set up tolaunder the proceeds of this fraud.Significance:Three defendants stood a fully contended cut-throat trial. Ourclient (David Coyne aka Nash) is alleged to have been involved both in themain plan to defraud the bank and the money laundering as he was the ownerof several offshore bank accounts that were allegedly set up to receive thefunds
  10. 10. R v F, D & OthersDescription: The case results from an investigation into a successful multi-million pound international lottery scam, which began with a complaintconcerning unsolicited e-mails from the Philippines. The scam involved claimsthat the victim would be the beneficiary of a percentage of an estate worth $10.2million.Significance: The alarm was raised by Barclays Bank in New York. A jointinvestigation by the FBI and Metropolitan Police then uncovered a number ofvictims of the fraud, who were resident in various places, ranging from the USA,to Malaysia, Japan and the Middle East. The joint investigation resulted in sixarrests. This case demonstrates our ability to handle complex international fraudcases, requiring the gathering of evidence and information in a number ofjurisdictions.

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