Research released by BDO’s corporate finance team Fraud Track, which closely examines all cases of reported fraud involving values grossing £50,000, found that the regions total amounted to £50.2million worth of fraud in 2014. The report placed the North West alongside London and the South East as the most costly region for fraud in the UK. Manchester alone accounted for almost half of the region’s reported cases, once again labelling the city with the worst fraud record.
Findings also revealed that high levels of fraud stemmed through other areas of the Northern region, with Yorkshire following closely behind reporting 49.5m of fraud, in comparison with the South West which recorded £35.1m.
Perhaps the most surprising is the difference in levels of fraud between the West and the East, with the North East and East midlands recording substantially lower levels both reporting 18.2m. In the past 12 months the number of Fraud cases has increased dramatically rising from 47 to 72 which begs the question as to why now we are seeing a sudden surge in high value fraudulent activity.
Forensic partner at BDO, Brent Wilkinson report that despite the rise in volume of cases, the overall value total has remained stagnant, a factor attributed to the “growing trend of high value complex fraud cases being dealt with outside of the judicial system out of the public eye.”
“Companies are increasingly assessing the reputational cost of a public case to their business, with many preferring to deal with perpetrators through civil – not criminal -remedies.”
Yet despite the rise in cases, overall the total value of UK fraud in 2014 which amounted to £720m is actually at its lowest level since Fraud Track began in 2003. A further report conducted by Experian found that those most at risk at falling victim to fraud were small to medium sized enterprises, with over 1 in ten falling victim to company fraud.
If you have been charged with an allegation of fraud or you are being investigated a proactive legal team is crucial and will ensure that you present the strongest fraud defence possible One of our fraud solicitors will attend any police station (or Serious Fraud Office or HM Customs) interviews with you, whether the interview is voluntary or following arrest. Your solicitor will help you to prepare, and will offer advice during the course of the interview, advising when to answer a question and when to exercise your right to remain silent.
We can also provide legal advice if you have your assets frozen or seized as part of an ongoing fraud investigation. Fraud cases often require experts in many areas including accounting, telephony, forensics and advocacy. Our extensive involvement in business crime and commercial fraud cases has enabled us to not only establish contact with the very best experts but also to develop a close working relationship with Queens Counsel and barristers who can make the difference between conviction and acquittal.
To speak a solicitor call 0845 287 0939, or alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.