Fraud – Fraud Cases

Nigel Shepherd has acted in numerous complex “Boiler room” frauds (share scams),  MTIC VAT frauds, Corporate Fraud (Asset stripping), fraud by insurance agent and Fraudulent trading. Often innocent or naïve people become mixed up in prosecutions, and need assistance of experts experienced in dealing with the accountancy, paper management and technical issues quite beyond the experience of ordinary criminal solicitors.

Nigel Shepherd has particular skills in team building, management of computerised or computer sourced evidence.  The ability to select and work with other professionals, such as forensic accountants is vital. – see also “Barristers”

It is often necessary to press prosecutors concerning unused material, and this process frequently demonstrates that it is impossible to proceed to trial.

Corporate corruption is nowadays more commonly investigated and prosecuted –where, for example, bribes are offered to agencies/ institutions/individuals in order to win a contract. See “Corruption”, “Bribery”, “Public officials”. The Bribery Act 2010 will enable prosecutions involving bribery overseas [See Article]


The Criminal Law Act 1977 replaced common law conspiracy with a statutory offence, preserving only common law conspiracy to defraud

The maximum sentence is the maximum for the substantive offence.

Substantial commercial frauds (and other serious crimes) tend to be charged with at least one count of Conspiracy, for evidential reasons too complex to summarise in a short note.

The essence of conspiracy is the agreement. When two or more agree to carry their criminal scheme into effect, the very plot is the criminal act itself:

 Conspiracy to defraud

There was technical complexity. Nigel Shepherd appeared in the trial of the leading (bullion VAT fraud) case of Tonner (1985) 80 Cr.App.R. 185 (legal only only for QC on appeal)

However, life has become more simple for prosecutors:-

Apart from charging Conspiracy to Steal, or other economic crime, since 2006 the various offences of statutory fraud can be used:   Fraud Act 2006, ss.1-4


1.         (1)  A person is guilty of fraud if he is in breach of  …

(a)  section 2 (fraud by false representation),

(b)  section 3 (fraud by failing to disclose information), and

(c)  section 4 (fraud by abuse of position).

Maximum sentence: 10 years or to a fine (or to both).

The names of the offences may change, as Parliament tries to keep up with the ingenuity of defence lawyers, but the sophistication of offending sees little new. Fashions change: “long firm fraud” is not so widespread, but VAT fraud (now international MTEC [1] ) is a regular feature and mortgage fraud seems to reappear whenever there is a recession . The police seem utterly unable to address the use of the internet for “advance fee” hustlers to find “marks”, (the gravity of internet fraud may be as much in the tidal wave of spam as in the relief of the vulnerable and greedy of their excess funds).

Nigel Shepherd is currently acts in cases involving sophisticated mortgage fraud, “Operation Motherload” where the real criminals (including solicitors receiving several mortgage advances on the same property) have escaped.

Boiler room fraud (share scams)

Interesting cases:

Harry Redknapp cleared of tax evasion – Read Article

The House of Lords upheld the decision of the SFO to drop its inquiry into the £43bn deal with BAE Systems over fears it would threaten national security. – Read Article


[1] Missing Trader EC