Forensic accounting methods hitting the best-seller lists

The world of forensic accountancy may seem mysterious to the layperson but if anyone has read The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, they will have been given a clear explanation of how powerful a forensic investigation can be. In the book, having engaged a forensic accountant, the elderly amateur sleuths can give the police […]

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Neil Woodford bouncing back

Former star fund manager Neil Woodford is planning to start a new investment firm, even though the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has yet to conclude its investigation into his previous enterprise. The move has led to calls for an independent enquiry into how Mr Woodford, whose Woodford Investment Management was suspended in 2019, could bounce […]

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‘A glimmer of hope’ for London Capital and Finance Investors

Thousands of investors who lost more than £200 million in the London Capital & Finance (LCF) savings scandal have been given new hope after the launch of a ground-breaking lawsuit. LCF collapsed in January 2019, leaving 11,600 investors, many of whom were elderly or new to investment, facing ruin. The firm’s advertisements had looked very […]

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Forensic Accountants called in to examine Trump’s finances

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has hired forensic accountants to examine former President Donald Trump’s finances, particularly any anomalies in his property dealings. This is part of an investigation into ‘hush money’ payments that has been ongoing since 2018. Since it began, the investigation has been expanded to consider Donald Trump’s vast business empire, and investigators […]

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Business interruption insurance claims – what can and cannot be claimed

More than 370,000 small businesses in England and Wales could eligible to claim via their Business Interruption insurance policies for disruption during the first Covid-19 national lockdown, following the Supreme Court’s important ruling. This ruling substantially allowed the appeal brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and campaign groups Hiscox Action Group and Hospitality Insurance […]

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Landmark ruling opens door to pandemic business interruption insurance claims

The national lockdowns, brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, have decimated many small businesses, with a record number of owners planning to close their firms over the coming twelve months and putting the UK on course to lose up to 250,000 businesses. In fact, according to the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Small Business Index […]

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Vatican investigation prompts financial reform

Pope Francis is pushing ahead with reforms of Vatican finances on the back of an ongoing investigation into a €200 million London property investment, which had been overseen by the Secretariat of State – the body at the heart of the Catholic Church’s central administration. A new law came into effect on 1 January 2021 […]

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UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order maintained

The woman in receipt of the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) in 2018 has lost her battle in the Supreme Court to have the ruling overturned. Zamira Hajiyeva, the wife of a jailed Azerbaijani banker, may now lose her £12 million London home and other assets if she is unable to explain where the […]

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Fraud – Spotting the anomalies

Eagle-eyed members of a council’s finance team have stopped an attempt by an organised crime gang to defraud a local authority out of more than £1 million. The staff at Hertfordshire County Council have passed their concerns to Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service, which has launched an investigation, resulting in a number of ‘mule’ bank accounts […]

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Hunter Biden: Accounting for Income

As Joe Biden is preparing to take office as President of the United States, it has been confirmed that a financial investigation is ongoing into the tax affairs of his son, Hunter. This is embarrassing for the president-elect, as he is currently deciding who will be his nominee for Attorney General – the person who […]

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Call for evidence in Horizon IT investigation

The Chairman of the enquiry into the Post Office’s Horizon IT system has called for evidence relating to ‘events associated with its use’. In particular, the impact of the system’s failure and the subsequent actions of the Post Office against postmasters, employees and contractors. The inquiry was set up following a scandal dating back to […]

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UK divorce rate increase highlights the importance of forensic advice

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of opposite-sex couples getting divorced in England and Wales surged to 107,599 in 2019 – an increase of almost 20 per cent on the previous year and the highest level in five years. The ONS also recorded 822 same-sex divorces last […]

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Complex investigation leads to jail term

A former rail ticket office clerk has been convicted of fraud by abuse of power and sentenced to three years in prison after a ‘complex investigation’ that involved scrutiny of CCTV and the ticketing system. Despite refusing to speak other than ‘no comment’ following his arrest, Mohammed Rahman pleaded guilty at his first appearance at […]

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Evidence points to guilt of former BHS boss

Prosecutors in the recent trial of Dominic Chappell, who famously bought BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green, used evidence from bank accounts, receipts, emails and interviews to persuade the jury of a guilty verdict for tax evasion. The jury at Southwark Crown Court found Mr Chappell guilty of failing to pay tax of around […]

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Update on Holy See Scandal

A ‘security consultant’ with links to sacked Cardinal Becciu has been arrested under an international warrant issued by Vatican magistrates on suspicion of “embezzlement and aggravated misappropriation in complicity with others”. Cecilia Marogna was paid €500,000 (£454,000) through a company in Slovenia she operated to help missionaries in conflict areas. However, Cardinal Becciu, who was […]

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Scrap paper trail reveals critical evidence

A recent case in Leicester highlights the fact that a forensic investigation involves much more than just looking at a company’s books. A recent civil court case uncovered fraudulent activity through the examination of business records noted in a “cash book” the business owner carried around with him, which were effectively just scraps of paper […]

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Norwich Pharmacal Orders – Help for unwitting victims

In an era where increasing numbers of businesses are caught up in financial investigations through no fault of their own, it is perhaps unsurprising that we are increasingly seeing applications for so called Norwich Pharmacal orders (NPOs) – a little-known way for victims of wrongdoing to access vital evidence. NPOs take their name from the […]

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‘Clean Skin’ no protection against Unexplained Wealth Orders

A ‘businessman’, who investigators suspected of being a major money-launderer, has been forced to hand over 45 properties worth around £10 million by virtue of an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO). According to allegations brought by the National Crime Agency (NCA), Mansoor Mahmood Hussain was the conduit for money made through the trafficking of drugs and […]

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Post Office Horizon IT inquiry to be launched

We have been writing for years about the scandal that hit the Post Office Horizon computer system, which led to the imprisonment, bankruptcy and even the unfortunate suicide of sub-postmasters. Now there is to be a judge-led inquiry into the scandal, with the Post Office saying that both it and Fujitsu, who developed the IT […]

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Vatican investigation developments

An ongoing investigation into alleged financial misconduct involving a Vatican real estate scandal appears to be behind the sudden resignation of a cardinal. A one-line statement issued on 25 September said that Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, head of the department that is responsible for deciding who will be […]

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Long-awaited London Capital & Finance report delayed

The report into the regulation of London Capital & Finance (LCF) is set to be delayed once again. The much-anticipated findings from the investigation into the circumstances surrounding LCF’s collapse and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) supervision of LCF were initially pushed back to 30 September 2020 but are now more likely to be released […]

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Financial hide and seek

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, was quoted in The Times recently discussing the potential pitfalls of shared finances and how this can lead to ‘financial abuse’ or other situations where financial knots need untangling. This includes situations ranging from having a joint bank account where one party is siphoning off funds, to a […]

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Challenging the prosecution’s evidence

A recent case brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is a good example of how those facing prosecution for fraud can use forensic accounting to challenge the evidence brought by prosecutors when facing serious criminal allegations. In this case, three men have been charged with multiple offences in connection with the collapse of a […]

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HMRC cracks down on tax evasion

High net worth individuals might have to be able to prove that they are paying the correct amount of tax as the Government ramps up its investigations into tax evasion. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is seeking to show its commitment to combatting non-payment of tax by launching probes into individuals and firms it suspects […]

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When the difference between income and assets doesn’t add up

A couple who led an extravagant lifestyle, with cash in the bank and three expensive Patek Philippe watches in their safe, have been arrested after they appeared to have a combined income of no more than £49,000. This case has revealed that the couple had assets worth more than £1 million, but only declared income […]

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