Exchange Chambers barristers secure acquittals in complex fraud trial

December 17, 2014

Barristers from Exchange Chambers have secured acquittals for their clients on a range of fraud related charges at Birmingham Crown Court.

The charges were a combination of conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty the Queen and the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs, conspiracy to defraud Her Majesty the Queen and the Commissioners of Revenue and Customs and Money Laundering the proceeds of tax reliefs (£1.8 million) through investment companies.

The alleged fraud, involving a complex pension structure with offshore companies,  ran from 2006 until 2009 when arrests were made.  Nine defendants were charged in 2010 and the trial at Birmingham Crown Court started on 2 September 2014.

The Judge accepted submissions that there was no case on any count to go to the jury on the 6th December 2014.   The prosecution took up their right to appeal, which was heard expeditiously by the Lord Chief Justice on 11th December.  The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s rulings and the jury was directed to return not guilty verdicts on all nine counts covering Conspiracy to Defraud contrary to Common Law, Conspiracy to Cheat contrary to s. 1 Criminal Law Act 1977, Conspiracy to Launder Money contrary to s. 1 Criminal Law Act 1977 and False Accounting contrary to s. 17(1) of the Theft Act 1968.

The defendants (6 of them) were discharged and the Judge made orders for the payment of their expenses out of central funds.  It was accepted that no single client of the pension scheme was out of pocket.

The barristers from Exchange Chambers representing the defendants were Dafydd Enoch QC (door tenant),  Ian Harris, Andrew Jebb and Damian Nolan.  They were instructed by Quinn Melville, Mark Jones and Partners and ABR Solicitors.

Said Tom Handley, Director of Chambers at Exchange Chambers:

“This was a particularly complex fraud that required expertise and dedication from our counsel at all times, demonstrating Chambers’ strength in cases of this kind. They were ably assisted by the skill of their instructing solicitors Quinn Melville, ABR and Mark Jones and Partners. “