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Conspiracy to Defraud
Conspiracy to defraud is a serious offence with the potential for a substantial prison sentence if you are found guilty and proceedings thereafter to try and secure the recovery of any monies lost. For these types of complex charges, it is essential to have the support of a specialist criminal defence team from the earliest stage of proceedings so that your defence is handled effectively right from the point of arrest.
With the right defence strategy, is often possible to secure the dropping of charges due, for example, to lack of evidence or flaws in the approach of the police. Where prosecution cannot be avoided, our specialist fraud defence lawyers can prepare your case and represent you in the most effective way possible, giving you the best chance of acquittal or minimising any penalties on conviction.
We understand how stressful and confusing being arrested and prosecuted can be, so we provide clear, practical legal advice and guidance to help make your situation as easy to deal with as possible. Our expert criminal defence team have many years of experience dealing with serious fraud charges of all varieties, allowing us to offer the confident, high quality representation you need.
While you may be offered the services of a duty solicitor when arrested for conspiracy to defraud, the likelihood is that they will not have particular expertise with these types of complex and serious charges. They require specialist skill and expertise. Any mistakes made during a police interview can be very hard to rectify, so we strongly recommend working with our specialist fraud defence team right from the start.
You should never answer any police questions without a solicitor present.
Our criminal defence lawyers speak a wide range of languages, so can offer effective representation for people from all backgrounds, right from the police interview stage through to prosecution and appeals.
If you have been charged with conspiracy to defraud, you can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate advice and representation.
Our expertise with conspiracy to defraud charges
With more than 40 years’ experience representing clients in fraud cases, our fraud defence lawyers have the expertise to secure the best possible outcome for you under even the most challenging circumstances.
Our team includes a number of accredited police station representatives, so we are able to offer instant advice and representation 24/7 for anyone arrested in connection to an offence of conspiracy to defraud.
We regularly represent clients in both Magistrates’ Court and Crown Court and have established links with some of the country’s leading barristers specialising in fraud cases. Our team have the experience and skills to ensure all relevant evidence is considered and used effectively for your defence making sure that no possible legal angle is overlooked.
Common questions about conspiracy to defraud offences
What is conspiracy to defraud?
Conspiracy to defraud is a common law offence, meaning it is not defined in a specific Act of Parliament but rather has been created by the courts.
A conspiracy to defraud is an agreement between two or more people to carry out a plan
that would prejudice the rights of another person or run a risk of doing so. That might include,
- A person or persons being dishonestly deprived of something which is theirs or that they would normally be entitled to e.g. money, property or other assets.
- A person or persons being deceived into acting in a way that goes against the duty they owe to their employers or clients running a risk of financial loss.
A key point to understand is that to be charged with conspiracy to defraud, you do not need to have directly participated in any activity that is inherently criminal.
For example, if you rent an office as part of a plan to create a fake business for the purposes of defrauding someone, you could be charged with conspiracy to defraud even though renting an office is not in and of itself illegal. It would suffice if you were part of an agreement to create the business and you were acting dishonestly.
Conspiracy to defraud is triable on indictment only i.e. prosecution will automatically take place in Crown Court, rather than a Magistrates’ Court.
What are the penalties for conspiracy to defraud?
The sentence for conspiracy to defraud will depend on two factors:
- The amount of harm caused, intended or risked by the offence (i.e. the financial value of the loss experienced by the alleged victim or victims).
- The role the defendant is alleged to have taken in the offence.
The potential sentence can range from a medium level community order up to 8 years’ custody. The maximum is 10 years.
For a category 1 offence (involving financial losses of £500,000 or more) the sentencing range is 18 months’ to 8 years’ custody.
For a category 2 offence (involving financial losses of £100,000 – 500,000) the sentencing range is 26 weeks’ to 6 years’ custody.
For a category 3 offence (involving financial losses of £20,000 – 100,000) the sentencing range is a medium level community order to 4 years’ custody.
For a category 4 offence (involving financial losses of £5,000 – 20,000) the sentencing range is a fine of 75-125% of your weekly income to 3 years’ custody.
For a category 5 offence (involving financial losses of less than £5,000) the sentencing range is a fine of 75-125% of your weekly income to 1 year’s custody.
What are my rights when arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud?
If you are arrested for or charged with conspiracy to defraud, you need to be clear about your rights so you can make sure you do not unintentionally undermine your defence.
When arrested, please remember:
- The arresting officer must tell you what specific offence you are being arrested for
- You do not have to answer any questions you are asked
- You should never answer police questions without a solicitor present
The police are required to caution you with the following words:
“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”
In an investigation for conspiracy to defraud, the police are likely to search premises and seize items. Police search powers are complex, but open to challenge, and you should take legal advice, particularly if the police wish to seize legal papers.
Following a police interview for conspiracy to defraud, you may be:
- Charged with a specific offence
- Released under investigation
- Release with no further action
If you are charged with an offence, you will either be released on bail or remanded in custody to await trial.
Contact our conspiracy to defraud lawyers now
For urgent specialist advice, immediate police station representation or to speak to us confidentially about a charge of conspiracy to defraud or any other criminal matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact a member of our dedicated team of criminal defence lawyers in London, Birmingham, and Manchester by telephone on:
Brent & Camden London Office: 020 7624 7771
Manchester Office: 0161 835 1638
Birmingham Office: 0121 614 3333
City of London: 0207 624 7771 – our senior Solicitors and Partners can meet by appointment in the City.
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can fill out our quick online enquiry form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
24/7 legal representation for conspiracy to defraud
For immediate representation and advice, you can contact our Emergency Number: 07836 577 556, and we will provide you with the urgent assistance you need.
For new serious cases you can email a senior partner/lawyer directly by clicking here. When you call us you can request a call back or meeting the same day with a senior partner/lawyer or Barrister.
If you believe your case is likely to have serious consequences for you now, or in the future, and you have the means to pay for this service please read more about our bespoke private fee service.