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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a tax adviser and one of my former clients has filed a

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I am a tax adviser and one of my former clients has filed a complaint to the police for fraud. He claims that I have caused him £1,500 of losses due to unauthorised filings with Companies House. The police called me for an interview and I gave a no comment interview. They later charged me and a trial is about to begin at Crown Court in a few days (dates not confirmed yet). The claim is false as I did not even do the alleged filings as I had cancelled my contract with the client many months ago. This was because I had a fee dispute with the client and stopped working for him. And a few months later he came up with this story, accusing me of false filings.
I am really worried as I risk losing my livelihood if found guilty. Also, I don't know what kind of sentences are given in such cases. I need to be prepared for anything even though the evidence against me appears to be really week. However, I need to be mentally prepared for all possible outcomes. My question is, if I lose, what kind of sentences can I expect and what impact will it have on my professional practice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, do you have previous convictions?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
What is the alleged fraud?
What are you said to have done?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
None whatsoever
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Resigne him from his position as a company director without his authorisation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, I don't understand why he claims to have lost £1,500. Most accountants would charge about £100 to fix this, or he could just re-appoint himself as director for free. Why he claims to have suffered losses amounting to £1,500?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Ok.
So what are you said to have done?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's claiming that I made a false submission online asking the Companies House to resign him from his position as the Company Director of his company. The police claims that the email address used to do the filing was accessed from my home IP address so it must be. But hundreds of people have had access to my home wi-fi (friends and family, my work colleagues, staff, clients and enquirers, etc). At the pre-trial hearing on the 9th of December the judge said that the IP address evidence is hearsay evidence and if the prosecution wants to use this, they had to make an application to the court by the 18th of December. The prosecution have still not made this application to the court, so have missed the deadline. Their whole case is based upon this IP address. So I'm accused of submitting false information to Companies House. But there is very weak evidence to prove this. Please advise.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He's claiming that I made a false submission online asking the Companies House to resign him from his position as the Company Director of his company. The police claims that the email address used to do the filing was accessed from my home IP address so it must be me. But hundreds of people have had access to my home wi-fi (friends and family, my work colleagues, staff, clients and enquirers, etc). At the pre-trial hearing on the 9th of December the judge said that the IP address evidence is 'hearsay evidence' provided by a my internet provider, and if the prosecution wants to use this, they were ordered to make an application to the court by the 18th of December. The prosecution have still not made this application to the court, so have missed the deadline. Their whole case is based upon this IP address. So I'm accused of submitting false information to Companies House. But there is very weak evidence to prove this. Please advise.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I wouldn't get too excited about that. All they need to do is get a witness to come to court to confirm to whom the IP is traceable.
If false information has been submitted and that links to your home IP address then that is not weak evidence. It is a pretty strong inference that you were the person who submitted it. I realise that others may use your home IP address but presumably other members of your family don't have a connection to this person.
It is possible that others could have linked to your IP. It depends how far your internet stretches.
It is possible to challenge IP evidence and it might well be found lacking. CPS may even take a view on the point.
I wouldn't even think about pleading to it if you dispute taking this action but there is a case to answer.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, my question was, if found guilty, what is the possible sentence?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
I would imagine they are probably saying you have done this to get revenge because of the fees dispute.
Seems to me that it would be covered by a better offence than fraud actually. I suppose they could argue there was an attempt to cause loss to him.
It isn't a big loss in terms of money but it is a large breach of trust given your position. It does cross the custodial threshold although a court would suspend it. It might be that it could be marked with unpaid work alternatively.
I'm afraid if convicted it will impact upon your practice. There are clearly professional issues here. I would imagine that it would lead to misconduct proceedings.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just to clarify, the fee dispute was that he claims that I had overcharged him, so I owed him money. Therefore, I had no reason to get revenge. He did!!! So I think that he's framed me....
Also, I don't understand the following comments you have made (I'm not legally trained). Can you please advise what they mean.
"It would be covered by a better offence than fraud actually"
"It does cross the custodial threshold"
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
He could have done. People do sometimes.
I'm not sure how to express that differently - there are better offences than fraud to cover this. If convicted, it could attract custody.
I think if you had no motivation to do this then that is a helpful point. The trouble with this is that neither did anybody else legitimately using your IP address. It is one of those cases where you have to run it aggressively and put to him that he did. If that is your belief.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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