Starting your own business can be an exciting and empowering experience, but there are many opportunities and risks for something to go wrong. One such situation could arise if you find yourself being accused of committing fraud. This could take many forms; you could be accused of making fraudulent tax claims, defrauding customers or suppliers out of money, or attaining business capital in a fraudulent manner, to name a few. But, what do you do if you know that you are innocent and an accusation is threatening to ruin your business and take away everything that you have been working hard for over the years? Taking these immediate steps is absolutely crucial to ensure that the future works in your favour.
#1. Get a Rapid Response Solicitor:
The first thing that you will need to do is get a solicitor who is experienced in this field working for you. Fraud allegations can be very lengthy and complicated, and the last thing that you want is to be attempting to navigate this all by yourself. A good solicitor will be able to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the investigations that you will be under and provide you with the support that you need throughout this often difficult and nerve-wracking process. These criminal defence solicitors London can help you with defending yourself in any business crime that you have been accused of.
#2. What to Expect from Search Warrants and Raids:
Search warrants and raids are not uncommon when it comes to fraud investigations, so it’s important that you are ready for this and understand what to expect. The more forthcoming you are when a search warrant is granted for your home or business, the easier it will be for authorities to co-operate with you and finally be sure of your innocence. However, it may be necessary for you to have a strong legal team who are capable of challenging the investigators in terms of rules regarding the warrant application or how the search is conducted. And, it’s important to be prepared for dealing with the aftermath with experienced senior staff and legal advisors, plus a public relations consultant to handle any media backlash if appropriate.
#3. Restraint and Freezing Orders:
The 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) allows investigating authorities to apply to restrain certain assets owned by an individual or company if they have reasonable grounds to believe that they are the proceeds of criminal activity. This can happen at any stage of the investigation, so it’s important to be prepared for the possibility with the right legal assistance. If not dealt with correctly, restraint and freezing orders can be crippling to your business or even personal finances. You will need a lawyer who has a great deal of expertise and experience in having these orders successfully discharged, enabling you to continue running your business.
Facing a false accusation of fraud can be a very stressful and frightening time for any business owner, so be sure to have the right lawyer fighting your defence.