Forensic Defence Accountants
Frenkels Forensics’ team of crime and fraud forensic defence accountants regularly assist clients facing charges of crime and fraud. We work with the UK’s leading solicitors’ firms and barristers’ chambers, as well as private businesses and individuals, to review, analyse and appraise the figures forwarded by the Crown Prosecution Service to establish the true extent of a defendant’s criminality or fraud.
What Do Our Forensic Defence Accountants Do?
When a defendant is charged with criminal or fraudulent activity, part of the relief claimed by the Crown Prosecution Service usually involves the recovery of the sums made by the defendant from their criminality or fraud. The prosecution will seek to recover these so called ‘proceeds of crime’ from the defendant’s assets, including their cash, property and vehicles, regardless of whether those assets were obtained lawfully or unlawfully.
If the Crown Prosecution Service succeeds in establishing that the defendant had a ‘criminal lifestyle’, the proceeds of crime figure can be significantly inflated. The prosecution will examine the defendant’s finances, usually for the six years leading up to the date on which they were charged and will include any and all gains made during that period in the recovery figure. Crucially, the Crown Prosecution Service does not need to prove that all of those sums were illegitimately made, to claim recovery of them. The onus is on the defendant who, to reduce their liability, must prove that the source of the income was legitimate. This is where our crime and fraud forensic defence accountants step in.
Our crime and fraud forensic defence accountants analyse the defendant’s bank statements and other financial information, review any related documentation and liaise with the defendant to trace the funds back to their source in order to identify those that can be said to constitute actual ‘proceeds of crime’. In our experience, if a deep enough analysis is undertaken, the defendant’s gains from the criminal conduct can usually be clearly identified and separated out from the remainder of their income. In a recent case, our forensic defence accountants carefully traced the source of all sums claimed by the Crown Prosecution Service, and successfully attributed a considerable percentage of them to the defendant’s legitimate income streams. Our work resulted in a settlement figure of £280,000 being agreed in circumstances where the Crown Prosecution Service had initially claimed some £8.9 million.
What Services Do Our Forensic Defence Accountants Provide?
Our crime and fraud forensic defence accountants provide a comprehensive range of forensic accountancy services, including the following:
• CPR compliant reports.
• Desktop reports.
• Letters of advice.
• Calculating the proceeds of crime.
• Data analysis.
• Computer forensics.
Our crime and fraud team are recognised leaders in their field, and our work is highly sought after by legal practitioners who are keen to understand their client’s financial activities and the extent of their financial liability. We strive to add real value to our clients’ cases and assist them and their legal teams in getting to the heart of the financial element of the matter.
We think outside the box, looking for and identifying information that is not presented to us and that might give us a more complete picture, rather than simply analysing that which is. Our IT capabilities put us at the forefront of forensic accountancy practice, and we regularly develop new and innovative software to solve novel problems and issues. Whilst we are proud of our reputation as a longstanding pre-eminent forensic accountancy firm, we do not simply stand still as a business. All of our accountants and support staff undertake ongoing training to ensure our skills constantly honed and up to date, and that we are familiar with emerging technologies, such as crypto currency and blockchain technology. Our cutting-edge techniques, coupled with our decades of experience, enable us to work quickly and cost-effectively, and to deal with vast amounts of data and information swiftly and accurately. We are often involved with a matter from the outset but are equally adept at working to tight deadlines and assisting clients when the need for forensic accountancy input becomes apparent at a later stage and is required urgently.
We are well-known amongst the legal profession and the Judiciary for our comprehensive yet user-friendly reports and are always on hand to answer any queries arising from them clearly and succinctly. Our crime and fraud forensic defence accountants regularly act as expert witnesses in Court and are familiar with all relevant Court procedures. Our evidence, whilst given persuasively and robustly, is always impartial and in line with our duties to the Court.
“Your report was a herculean task and put us in an incredibly strong position. Thank you ever so much for the work and advice you have provided . The report was clear and accessible and will not hesitate to recommend you all.”
“I am indebted to you for your contribution, and for explaining things in plain English such that even lawyers can understand the issues”
“It was a pleasure working with you on what was a rather difficult case”