Financial investigator praised
A financial investigator who tracked down almost £185,000 conned out of a 91-year-old woman with Parkinson’s disease by three so-called ‘carers’ was praised by a judge at the group’s confiscation hearing. The three women, who had no qualifications or training to deal with Parkinson’s, were charging the old lady up to £40,000 a month and swindled her out of £500,000 in total. Their criminal activity was eventually uncovered when the community matron found out how much money the victim was paying the gang and she brought North Yorkshire Police (NYP) in.
All three have now been ordered to pay back as much of the money as possible under the powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
As a spokesman for NYP commented, any financial investigation unit will continue to look for every penny possible after sentencing so that the victim can be recompensed and criminals do not benefit from their crimes.
While the evidence in this case was clear-cut, in many cases it is more complex and defendants question the amount they are ordered to pay. Forensic accountants are then used to find a more realistic figure.
The women in North Yorkshire had led an obvious ‘champagne lifestyle’ and could not account for their sudden new wealth but many defendants can. However, they need the expertise of a forensic accountant, who can not only explain where the cash has come from but also bring gravitas and experience to their testimony in court. They are also experienced in countering the Crown’s prosecutors and can eliminate cases of double to even triple counting that might otherwise go unnoticed and which bumps up the benefit figure enormously.
Author: Roger Isaacs, 23 December 2016