Chris’s Criminal Cases
Here are some criminal cases Chris has dealt with:
Chris led a team of 6 accountants in the defence of the chairman of an international investment company, Barlow Clowes, which had collapsed because £150 million had been stolen by the directors and spent on yachts, Porsches, Bentleys, vineyards, and corporate raiding including a brewery – for $3.5million they had even bought a yacht from Christina Onassis!
By tracing the funds and identifying the person who had signed each and every transfer, he was able to demonstrate that the chairman was not responsible for any of the thefts. His report ran to 43 ring binders, and was agreed by the SFO.
After an 18month trial his client was found not guilty on all charges, whereas the managing director (not his client) was jailed for 10 years.
Environmental Health – Mouldy Chickens
Chris and his team assisted environmental health officers and the local police in the “Mouldy Chicken” case. Condemned poultry, send for rendering and conversion into dog food, was being diverted back into the human food chain by being dipped in baths of acid and brine, shrink-wrapped and sold to local butchers.
Dog meat was worth 1p per pound, choice cuts of chicken worth £1 per pound, so the profits were enormous – but so was the risk to public health. Chris’s team seized evidence at the dog meat factory with the help of armed police, and helped to secure convictions for 7 perpetrators, with prison terms of up to 7½ years.
Drug Trafficking By Light Aircraft
Chris’s biggest failure was whilst assisting in the defence of a man caught red-handed importing cocaine by light aircraft. By review of the flight plans and the number of times the accused had flown to Holland, Customs alleged he had imported drugs worth £100million.
Chris held an interview with the accused in Strangeways, but the case was hopeless, and the accused was jailed for 25 years.
Interestingly, the instructing solicitor was Jonathan Duff, the first solicitor jailed for not reporting suspicious transactions through his client account. And guess whose money he had been looking after!
Theft & False Accounting – The Subpostmaster
At a more modest level, Chris has assisted in the defence of several sub postmasters accused of theft, where he was able to demonstrate that the accounting systems they are obliged to use are incapable of showing who might be responsible for any shortfall in funds. Several “not guilty” verdicts were achieved as a result of his work.
Taxation Offences – VAT On Ice Cream
Chris’s client was an ice-cream vendor in London who was not registered for VAT. Customs said his business should be aggregated with other family members’ businesses, taking the combined business over the registration threshold; and they contended that VAT of £500,000 then became due.
Customs took criminal action against the family. At trial Chris appeared as expert for the defence and, although the aggregation point was lost, his work on quantification showed that trade was much lower than Customs alleged, resulting in a much reduced sentence for his client.
Hopefully these case studies show you how Chris uses his expertise to provide creative solutions to each case.
Contact Chris to discuss further how he can help.