Cantaris Locke notable case list
R -v- S and others, Blackfriars Crown Court, Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, 2019,
This involved a sophisticated fraud with several co-defendants. It was alleged that defendants conspired to commit fraud of hundreds of thousands of pounds by cloning credit cards and defrauding banks, not only in the UK but internationally. The Crown relied on numerous items of equipment that was seized including skimming devices, blank cards and a computer system that had over 1000 illegally obtained credit card numbers. The case was extremely complex in that it involved thousands of pages of evidence from electronic devices including telephone messages and cell site data. The Crowns case was the potential loss was several hundred thousand pounds on the basis of the significant amount of compromised credit card numbers that were found on the laptop. The defence instructed a forensic accountant and were able to limit the level of potential loss.
R -v- V, Central Criminal Court, Fraud/Acquiring Criminal Property, 2016
This was a complex fraud where a well-known US ticket exchange company had been defrauded of approximately 1 million dollars. Monies were transferred to various overseas accounts under the guise of false companies in order to avoid detection. The Defendant was accused of receiving vast sums of money into his account. We successfully managed to agree a basis of plea to limit the Defendant's role. This resulted in him avoiding a prison sentence.
R -v- G, Southampton Crown Court, Fraudulent Evasion of Excise Duty, 2016
We successfully defended G, who was accused of being involved in the importation of 2 million fake cigarettes from Eastern Europe. The case was prosecuted by HMRC. The investigation relied on the shipment of goods through a company that appeared to be legitimate. The case also rested on CCTV. The Defendant was found not guilty.
R -v- T, Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey), Banking Fraud, 2015
This was a complex and sophisticated fraud involving numerous individuals that was extensively investigated by the City of London Police.
Some of the illegal monies had been transferred from organisations who had received fraudulent emails detailing a change of bank account from a purported supplier. Some monies had been obtained via high value cheques stolen in transit. For example, one of the transactions alone amounted to £143,000. The monies were subsequently filtered through numerous accounts to avoid detection.
The defendant was accused of knowingly receiving fraudulently obtained monies in her account. The prosecution sought to rely on thousands of pages of bank transactions and data to prove their case. The defence were able to demonstrate that the Defendant did not have the requisite knowledge or suspicion regarding the origins of the monies and therefore was not guilty of the alleged offence.
The defendant was acquitted after a 4-week trial.
R -v- D, Southwark Crown Court, Banking Fraud, 2016
This was a complex banking fraud involving transferred funds amounting to several million pounds. Bogus shelf companies were created with the intention of defrauding major banks out of significant sums of money. False invoices and emails were sent to the banks which resulted in the monies being transferred electronically. One transaction alone amounted to nearly £4 million pounds.
The Defendant faced five counts of Fraud. Due to the representations made to the CPS we managed to limit the role of our client through a basis of plea and negotiate a guilty plea to one count of fraud. The remaining counts of fraud were not proceeded with.
Trading Standards -v- T, Harrow Crown Court, Counterfeit Goods, 2015
We successfully defended T who was accused of flooding the country with fake electrical goods from China whilst working in her capacity as a Company director. The case involved a lengthy investigation by the Trading Standards Department of Brent Borough Council into trading and financial activities of T. We assisted T in the preparation of the case and ensured that a not guilty verdict was recorded.
R -v- O, Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey), Fraud/murder, 2014
This case involved an allegation of fraud following a murder of a lonely single woman in the West End. The aftermath of the murder lead to a major and extensive fraud that run in to hundreds of thousands of pounds. Numerous defendants were accused of stealing the identity of the deceased in order to deprive her of her assets. This included transfers of significant sums of money through banking and mortgage fraud. The Defendant was accused of impersonating the murdered woman to obtain monies. The Defendant categorically denied any wrongdoing and claimed that she herself was a victim of fraud. It was a high-profile case that was extensively reported in the media.
Following a trial, which lasted over two weeks, Our defendant was the only defendant to be acquitted of the fraud.
HMRC -v- K, Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey), Tax Fraud, 2013
The Defendant was accused of large-scale fraud and money laundering. The allegations related to hacking of HMRC computers, creating applications for fake tax refunds and subsequently diverting funds to bogus bank accounts. It was a sophisticated and elaborate fraud perpetrated by Eastern European hackers. The arrests followed a lengthy surveillance and investigation by HMRC officers.
Due to our representations to the HMRC, however, the case against K was discontinued.
HMRC -v- I, The High Court, VAT fraud - Judicial review
This case involved an extensive UK and European investigation by HMRC. It was alleged that the Defendant was involved in a 23 million pound VAT diversion obtain fraud. It was alleged that alcohol was shipped from the UK to bonded warehouses in continental Europe and then shipped back to the UK with duplicate delivery documents. A search warrant obtained by HMRC prior to the Defendant's arrest enabled them to seize material and equipment to be used as evidence.
The defence successfully sought judicial review at the High Court regarding the legality of the search warrant which was subsequently quashed. The result at the
High Court was able to restrict the furtherance of the criminal investigation.