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Investigation to see if there is a case to answer

Member: Nifa

While some cases can be brought on strong suspicion of wrongdoing, others require an investigation to see whether or not there is a case to answer. On such occasions, a matter is investigated and the evidence found is put before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which will weigh up the chances of a successful prosecution.

A recent example of this is the alleged £1m fraud at the Police Federation by a serving Metropolitan police officer, Will Riches. The investigation began early last year into concerns that £1m had been fraudulently transferred to an organisation called the Peelers Charitable Foundation.

At the time, four people were arrested and placed under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). However, of the four, the IPCC said that three did not have a criminal or disciplinary case to answer. Only Mr Riches has been referred to the CPS, with the investigation concerning the transfer of funds, which took place in August 2015.

A spokeswoman for the IPCC said it had been a “complex financial investigation”, which has gathered all the available evidence and passed it to the CPS for them to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to commence criminal proceedings.

In such an investigation, forensic accountants will look at the alleged criminal’s financial dealings, how much they have spent over the period in question, what financial means they have, such as cash, mortgages or credit cards, and whether they are living within their purported means. The forensic accountants will also investigate money transfers and payments into bank accounts. All of this evidence is then weighed up to see if the profile matches a criminal lifestyle.

Author: Roger Isaacs, 4 August 2017

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