When a company runs into difficulties, those involved in the running of that business are often going through the most stressful and difficult period of their lives. They may have risked everything to make a success of the business, and it may face difficulties through no fault of the directors. To face allegations of criminality over the manner in which the business was run prior to its insolvency can place an individual under enormous stress.
Criminal investigation following insolvency
What may start as a civil matter has the potential to lead to a criminal investigation depending on the views and findings of the appointed insolvency practitioner. It is important to bear this in mind from the outset.
Our specialists are used to considering insolvency cases from both a civil and a criminal perspective. Often clients are concerned about the possibility of both. We can advise a client as to the likelihood of a criminal investigation at an early juncture, where possible putting their mind at rest and at all times preserving their position should a criminal investigation arise. We consider our clients position from all angles and adopt a holistic approach to crisis management.
The Insolvency Service criminal enforcement team investigates and prosecutes fraud in companies and by bankrupts, for breaches of insolvency and company law.
Types of Insolvency Service investigation
Our specialists have experience in defending allegations of:
- Fraudulent trading
- Acting as a director of a limited company whilst disqualified
- Failure to preserve company accounting records
- Re use of company name following insolvency
- Bankrupt acting as a director of a limited company whilst disqualified
- Failure to disclose property to Official Receiver
We understand how the insolvency of a company can trigger disputes which in turn can lead to allegations of criminality. Complaints may come from insolvency practitioners who will pore over the company’s books and records investigating all transactions. Dissatisfied customers, clients and creditors may register complaints about a company. Alternatively reports can be made about the activities of a disqualified director or of a bankrupt. The Insolvency Service investigation team now place greater emphasis on information sharing with other regulators. A strategic approach is crucial.
Strategically, it is preferable to avoid a report to the Insolvency Service investigation team. Our strategy is to negotiate and co-operate wherever possible but at all times preserve our client’s position in the event of a criminal prosecution. When a criminal investigation takes place, we are used to dealing with Insolvency Service investigators and can advise clients on how to deal with the investigation as well as attending interviews under caution.
If you are facing the possibility of insolvency and are worried about the possibility of criticism or blame being levelled at you, it is essential to seek expert advice immediately.
Olliers Solicitors – Insolvency Service investigation lawyers
If you require representation in relation to an Insolvency Service investigation or prosecution contact Matthew Claughton by telephone on 0161 827 7010 by email to email@example.com or click here to send us a message.