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Cases – bark & co solicitors – specialist fraud firm


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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.

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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Cases – bark & co solicitors – specialist fraud firm

  1. 1. Bark & CoSolicitors
  2. 2. These are our some of ourcases 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 hasreturned 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 & 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.
  3. 3. RvXDescription: This matter involves an insidertrading investigation at a number of banks andhedge funds and other large financialinstitutions conducted by the FSA and SOCAwhich Reuters reports has “sent shockwavesthrough the country’s financial industry”. Significance: This case involves significant pressinterest and involves the representation of adirector at a very high profile financialinstitution.
  4. 4. R v CC & PFDescription: This case involves the arrest of nine directors of an ethicalinvestment company investing in the energy sector. The value of thealleged fraud, which related to the company’s tax structure, is in excessof £85 million. It raises questions on the differences between taxevasion and tax avoidance. The company obtained tax benefits forresearch and development in the energy sector and secured investmentfrom 750 specialist private investors.Significance: This case will have far reaching consequences for thewhole of the ethical carbon offsetting industry, as well as for allcompanies with similar tax structures. The company in question wasadvised by tax specialists and lawyers regarding the legislation involved.HMRC allege that the complex nature of the related companies and taxstructures were formed for the specific reason of perpetrating a fraudwhile the company states that they were not only legitimate butstandard industry practice.
  5. 5. R v F & P (Vantis Tax)Description: We acted for former senior executives for aspecialist tax division of Vantis Plc defending allegationsof cheating the public revenue. They both vigorouslydeny the allegations made against them.Significance: This case involves extremely complex tax,share valuation and trust issues, and raises seriousquestions concerning the boundaries of tax avoidanceschemes and their use. It attracted significant mediainterest with coverage in the nationals and trade press.
  6. 6. R v S & OthersDescription: Bark & Co is representing a client who is involvedin a wide ranging FSA investigation into an alleged 11-handedinsider dealing fraud. This matter revolves around a spread-betting company that was used to place derivative trades onshare price movements. Trades were made close to, or before,significant and unexpected company announcements whichinfluenced the share price in the direction of the placed trade.It is alleged that a ring of traders, some of whom had noprevious experience in spread betting, were organised toperpetrate the fraud with the insider information originatingfrom two well-known investment banks.Significance: The value of the alleged fraud is over £3 millionand involved insider information on more than 25 companiesthat the investment banks dealt with. This case is still at theinvestigation stage but charges are being brought.
  7. 7. R v W, W, W & D (Southwark Crown Court)Description: Our client is charged with conspiracy to defraud andmoney laundering offences. This case follows a joint FSA and City ofLondon Police operation and investigation into a boiler room fraud. Itis alleged that several companies that were seeking venture capitalwere used as vehicles to generate appropriate share capital to sell tovictims based in the UK. The boiler rooms were based overseas andunregulated by the FSA. They generated over £30 million in incomewhich was then filtered through a complex network of companiesand holding accounts and into UK and offshore accounts.Significance: The fraud is so large that the FSA has determined that itis limiting the case to six primary front companies. Not only is thiscase a good example of the scale and increasing prevalence of thistype of fraud, it also demonstrates how international operations arebeing used to bypass the UK financial regulators and authorities.
  8. 8. R v S, R, D, S, S & T (Southwark Crown Court)Description: This was a six-handed prosecution of the founders and associates of the“Confidential Access” website. Our client is alleged to have used his business to facilitatethe sale of false identity documents that were used to commit fraud and crime. Theidentity documents, which included passports, P45s, bank statements and other financialand identity documents, were marketed and sold as legal “novelty items”, but theiraccuracy means they were used by clients who were being investigated by theMetropolitan Police anti-terrorism unit. In a joint operation with the Hong KongOrganised Crime Team, the Confidential Access website was temporarily shut down andthe servers and business records seized. The website subsequently reopened in anothercounty and the authorities entered into an ongoing battle across several jurisdictions toforce the website to close down.Significance: This case provides a unique insight into the type of identity-based fraudsthat will become more commonplace in the future. It also shows the difficulties involvedin dealing with international and cross-jurisdictional issues surrounding internet freetrade and international payment systems. Not surprisingly, the case attracted mediaattention, although the details remain confidential.
  9. 9. R v L (Southwark Crown Court)Description: Our client in this case is being re-tried after a trial held in2008 failed to reach a verdict. The client is charged with cheating thepublic revenue of £250 million in a large-scale and complex MTIC VATfraud in the mobile phone handset market.Significance: The scale of the operation and subsequent investigationwas impressive, with 42 arrests in 2003, 96 sets of premises searchedand 260 computers and 500,000 documents seized, as well assubstantial amounts of electronic data. This fraud is serious andinvolves highly complex forensic accountancy and international fundstracing aspects. Again, it has attracted considerable media attention.
  10. 10. 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 in connectionwith alleged accounting irregularities in relation to this contract. This case is in theFSA’s own words the largest case they have ever investigated.Significance: iSoft were involved in the implementation of the new NHS IT system, alarge and politically sensitive project and the case has received extensive presscoverage. It has therefore required extremely sensitive handling. The issuesinvolved are also particularly complex and involve forensic legal and accountancyanalysis.iSoft related cases (representing X)
  11. 11. Description: iSoft was awarded a multi-million pound contract toimplement an All Ireland software system. Bark & Co isrepresenting a former director in connection with allegedaccounting irregularities in relation to this contract. This case is inthe FSA’s own words the largest case they have ever investigated.Significance: iSoft were involved in the implementation of the newNHS IT system, a large and politically sensitive project and the casehas received extensive press coverage. It has therefore requiredextremely sensitive handling. The issues involved are alsoparticularly complex and involve forensic legal and accountancyanalysis.
  12. 12. RvRDescription: This is said to be among the biggest MTICcarousel frauds ever prosecuted. It involves a particularlycomplex form of MTIC fraud called ‘contra-trading’. Here,the perpetrator mixes a ‘clean’ chain of transactions and a‘dirty’ chain. The key is that they act as importer in theclean chain and exporter in the dirty one, thereforeoffsetting legal imports against illegal exports, making theVAT claim relatively balanced and the fraud far harder todetect.
  13. 13. Significance: This case is said to be one of the biggestMTIC frauds ever prosecuted and involves billions ofpounds worth of trade. It will give rise to nationalpublicity and widespread public concern because MTICfraud has become so widespread that it is responsible forthe UK trade figures being completely miscalculated. Inthis instance there has been £170 million of fraudidentified within the telecoms sector involving theinternational trading of mobile phones. Contra-trading isan increasing growth area of specialist defence whereBark & Co is among the leaders. This case has at presentover 60,000 pages of exhibited prosecution materialswith over 100,000 expected, making the estimated costof prosecuting the case substantial (more than £1million).
  14. 14. R v L, R & HDescription: This was a high-profile SFOprosecution concerning fraudulent trading. Theprosecution alleges that there was fraudulenttrading over a 3-4 year period at AlfredMcAlpine Slate Limited. This took the form offalse invoicing and the concealment of the falseinformation from the parent company, AlfredMcAlpine plc, and their auditors, by way offorged loans, invoices and manipulation ofmanagement packs.
  15. 15. Significance: This case was the subject of a three-monthinternal investigation by PMCE Coopers Waterhouse andthe City law firm, Ashurst. Press interest is high and thecase has appeared on Sky News, in The Times, and TheGuardian, as well as local papers, financial journals andReuters. It is alleged that the discovery of the fraud led toa drop in the McAlpine Slate share price and contributedto the acquisition of McAlpine by Carillion plc. With over50,000 pages of served evidence, this case was bothcomplex and high profile. We were successful in achievinga lenient sentence for our client.
  16. 16. 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.A security guard at SMBC bank, who had access to its computer system,allowed two Belgium computer experts entry into the bank and access tothe computer 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 theowner of several offshore bank accounts that were allegedly set up toreceive the funds
  17. 17. R v F, D & OthersDescription: The case results froman investigation into a successfulmulti-million pound internationallottery scam, which began with a Significance: The alarm was raised bycomplaint concerning unsolicited Barclays Bank in New York. A jointe-mails from the Philippines. Thescam involved claims that the investigation by the FBI andvictim would be the beneficiary of Metropolitan Police then uncovered aa percentage of an estate worth number of victims of the fraud, who$10.2 million. were resident in various places, ranging from the USA, to Malaysia, Japan and the Middle East. The joint investigation resulted in six arrests. This case demonstrates our ability to handle complex international fraud cases, requiring the gathering of evidence and information in a number of jurisdictions.