White Collar Crimes Face Harsher Sentences

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Those who are convicted of a Financial Crime may face harsher sentences if newly suggested guidelines from the Sentencing Council are introduced.

The new proposals involve applying a sentence based on the harm brought to the victim(s). Offences such as fraud, tax evasion and bribery would fall under the proposed guidelines.

The NFA (National Fraud Authority) estimated that fraud cost £73bn to the UK economy in 2012. Whilst fraud against businesses, for example suppliers making fraudulent payment claims, cost companies £45.5bn back in 2011, according to the the Sentencing Council.

More than 16,000 people were sentenced for fraud in 2011, costing individuals £6.1 billion

Sentencing Council member Michael Caplan QC said: “Fraud is committed for financial gain, but it can mean much more than financial loss to the victim. Our research with victims showed the great impact it can have on them.

“Our proposed guidelines therefore direct courts to start the sentencing process by looking at what victims have been through. This is a consultation: we want people to give us their views on our proposals so we can develop sentences which people understand and have confidence in.”

Those convicted of corporate fraud could face a fine of up to four times the amount they gained depending on the level of harm they have caused. The new guidelines will advise on sentencing convicted criminals for the offences of money laundering and bribery for the first time, along with guidance for sentencing corporate offenders.

If you find yourself or someone you know is facing charges for White Collar Fraud you can contact us on 0300 303 8268.

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