If you have been implicated in allegations of false accounting as a company director or employee, it’s essential to take the advice of an experienced business crime solicitor as soon as possible. Seeking legal advice is not an admission that you have done something wrong and speaking to an expert early on could make the difference between an investigation being launched against you or not.
False accounting solicitors on your side
The expert white collar solicitors at Purcell Parker have a wealth of experience in defending professionals who have been accused of false accounting at work. Our location in central Birmingham means we are ideally placed for our city-based clients; however, our discreet business crime service extends beyond the West Midlands. Not only that, we are happy to meet you at a time and location of your choosing to discuss what will inevitably be a stressful matter.
Financing your false accounting case
In our first meeting we will establish the facts of your situation and whether you require representation or informal advice for handling your issue. In situations where you require formal representation for an investigation against you by the police or HMRC, we will provide a competitive fixed-fee quote wherever possible. Whatever the level of support we provide, we will use our plain-English, non-judgemental approach to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
What is false accounting?
Under Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968, false accounting is a type of fraud involving changing, destroying, defacing or omitting information on a company’s accounts in order to create a financial gain and/or to cause a financial loss to another party. It can be committed by an individual within an organisation for their own personal gain, as an organised conspiracy by those in business together or as a desperate attempt by a business owner to keep their organisation afloat in challenging circumstances.
The business crime solicitors at Purcell Parker can help with the following types of allegations:
- Altering accounts in order to mislead potential investors into seeing the business as an attractive investment opportunity or to artificially inflate a share price in order to make the company appear more successful than it is.
- Hiding losses with the same aim of creating an illusion of success and preventing the potentially adverse effects of negative publicity.
- Covering up a theft, embezzlement or other form of fraud.
- Evading tax by under-declaring income and sales.
- Obstructing the course of justice in a criminal investigation.
The term ‘accounts’ usually relates to financial spreadsheets, but it’s important to remember that in terms of false accounting, the definition of an ‘account’ is not restricted to a document. Ticket turnstiles and taxi-meters are both examples of an ‘account’ that could be tampered with in order to commit this type of fraud.
Defending false accounting allegations
Whether you have been accused of false accounting as an individual or as part of a conspiracy, our specialist fraud solicitors will be on your side. This is a highly complicated area of the law where clearly, misunderstandings can arise as a result of honest mistakes. Also, it is not uncommon for employers to pass inaccurate information on to more junior employees so that they unwittingly commit false accounting. There are also situations where a corrupt culture at work leads to employees being coerced into committing false accounting offences. However, regardless of the circumstances, our job is to be on your side to protect your professional reputation so that you can get on with your life.
Where necessary, we will commission a report from a forensic accountant in order to support your case and show that the investigation against you was flawed, for example in situations where there was no dishonesty or the document in question was not created for accounting purposes. At all times we will keep you fully informed of the process.
False accounting and company directors
Many investigations for false accounting arise when company directors act under severe pressure in order to save their business from failing as opposed to being motivated by a desire to cheat the system for personal gain. The maximum prison sentence for this type of fraud is 7 years, however, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to sentencing and our experienced fraud lawyers will emphasise mitigating factors in this kind of case.
As well as fines and custodial sentences in the most serious of cases, company directors in this situation may also face disqualification from acting as a company director and compensation and deprivation orders from the court. Again, our fraud lawyers will act on your behalf to navigate these complex areas.
Expert white-collar solicitors on your side
To find out more about how the dedicated fraud solicitors at Purcell Parker can help with allegations of false accounting, please call 0121 236 9781 or fill in our contact form.