Charlotte is an accomplished advocate, regularly instructed for the defence with a comprehensive and wide-ranging experience of serious and complex criminal cases. A Category 4 Prosecutor, Charlotte is also regularly instructed as a leading junior in heavyweight cases by the Complex Crime Units and Specialist Fraud and Organised Crime Divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service.
Charlotte has extensive advisory and litigation experience in a wide range of substantial cases including:
- Conspiracies to cheat
- Evasion of excise duty and multi-million pounds oil frauds
- Carousel frauds
- Advance fee, confidence and misrepresentation fraud
- Investment scheme fraud (involving international/offshore aspects)
- Land banking and mortgage fraud
- Frauds against the NHS
A specialist practice in fraud and large-scale drug cases means that money laundering and proceeds of crime applications feature heavily in Charlotte’s practice, and instructions are received in highly complex POCA cases. She has a comprehensive knowledge of criminal restraint and asset protection.
Regularly instructed in large-scale drug importation and supply cases, she also has extensive advisory and litigation experience in other areas of serious crime including homicide, conspiracies to commit armed robbery, firearms, child cruelty and neglect cases. Charlotte has also been appointed to the CPS Specialist Rape Panel and has extensive experience prosecuting and defending cases involving serious sexual offences and indecent images of children.
Charlotte has also successfully defended allegations prosecuted by DEFRA commanding detailed knowledge of the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations and EU Law.
Operation Rubstic 2 and 3 (2016-2017), Liverpool Crown Court: instructed in complex and large-scale short firm fraud which involved the hijacking of company identities and the production of fraudulent documents used to obtain high value goods on credit from significant number of companies with a potential loss identified in excess of two million pounds. The cheque fraud involved “washing” of cheques and use of other individuals “mules” to cash them for a fee.
Operation Tuscany (2016), Leeds Crown Court -Conspiracy to cheat the revenue and launder the proceeds of a VAT fraud (which exploited the zero –rating provisions on the processing of animal carcasses into food products) to make fraudulent applications for the repayment of VAT.
Operation Afflek (2015-2016), Liverpool Crown Court-voluminous and complex alleged Land Banking Fraud (investors purchasing plots of land in the belief that they will significantly increase in value). It involves a total of 259 investors who were alleged to have paid out £3.5 million in respect of plots of land at a site in Warwickshire in the belief that the plots would get planning permission and make a substantial profit when the whole site was sold to a developer. The issue of no prospect was challenged. The case involved forensic examination of bank accounts
R v H and others (2015), Burnley Crown Court -voluminous and evidentially intricate multi-handed money laundering conspiracy (requiring a 10-week trial) alleging the falsification of the VIN plates of stolen high value heavy plant machinery and its onward distribution or sale to unwitting purchasers through auction houses and the inter-net.
Operation Incuse (2014) Manchester Crown Court- large scale importation of tobacco and evasion of duty. The case involved detailed examination of telephone and cell citing evidence.
Operation Nanobot (2012-2013), Leeds Crown Court: instructed as a leading junior in a case involving an organised criminal group who used a series of bogus companies to support the submission of a fraudulent application for the repayment of VAT and who also laundered in excess of a million pounds which had been stolen from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through the manipulation of the department’s computer system.
Operation Groat (2011-2012), Liverpool Crown Court: instructed as a leading junior in a case involving an allegation of conspiracy to defraud a Primary Care Trust by a dental practice. It demanded a detailed understanding of the Dental Services Contract Scheme, its associated regulations and accounting scheme.
Operation Lilywhite (2009-2012), Liverpool Crown Court: instructed as a leading junior in an evidentially intricate 24-handed conspiracy to commit tax credit fraud where
Revenue employee manipulated the computer system and diverted money by way of tax credits into the bank accounts of others and ultimately to himself.
Operation Cloudlet (2010-2012), Manchester Crown Court: conspiracy to cheat the Revenue by an organised criminal group who purported to be a multinational company and founders of an airline company submitting fraudulent applications for repayment of VAT.
Operation Colon (2010-2011), Manchester Crown Court: instructed as a leading junior in this high profile false representation fraud, which involved a sophisticated team setting up a bogus claims management company to extract referral fees for non-existent personal injury claims from a large number of solicitors’ firms.
Operation Compost (2010-2011), Liverpool Crown Court: QC-led multi-million pound oil fraud involving the laundering and onward distribution of rebated fuels.
Operation Pumice (2010-2012), Chester Crown Court: former Revenue employee accused of embezzling the savings of several investors and the estate of a wealthy property developer. Legally complex, it involved offshore accounts and trust funds.
Operation Anfield (2010), Preston Crown Court: a multi-handed conspiracy to cheat the Revenue involving the importation of prestige cars from Europe into the UK using a series of disappearing buffer companies.
Operation Grassland (2013-2014), Manchester Crown Court: case involving a multi million pound conspiracy to defraud the Revenue by setting up numerous bogus companies and submitting false applications for repayment of VAT.
Operation Buckeye (2010), Manchester Crown Court: a multi-handed, high value and sophisticated excise duty fraud involving distribution of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.
R-v-Smith and others (2009-2010), Manchester Crown Court: a million pound evasion of duty payable on imported tobacco.
Operation Abraid (2008), Liverpool Crown Court: a large scale multi-million pound money laundering and mortgage fraud conspiracy with international connections and the alleged employment of corrupt solicitors.
R–v-O’Toole and Others (2008), Preston Crown Court: case concerning conspiracy to defraud and to launder the proceeds, which were obtained through the sale (mainly to the elderly) of damp proofing courses, which were alleged to be both unnecessary and worthless.
Operation Scalpel, R-v-Jennings and Others (2005-2007), Manchester Crown Court: this now well- known case involving a finance company advertising unsecured loans to the adverse credit market for payment of up-front administration fees.
DRUG CONSPIRACIES AND SERIOUS CRIME
Operation Redstart (2013), Preston Crown Court: substantial case involving a conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs and to launder the proceeds of crime. The case involved the instruction of a forensic accountant to successfully disprove the prosecution allegation that “drug money” had been laundered through the defendant’s bank accountants over 6-year period.
Operation Cadland (2013), Liverpool Crown Court: case involving a conspiracy to both produce and distribute Class A drugs.
Operation Halstead (2011-2012), Liverpool Crown Court: a multi-handed conspiracy to regionally distribute Class A drugs.
Operation Tennyson (2010), Liverpool Crown Court: a large-scale conspiracy to distribute Class A and B drugs.
Operation Cirrate (2009-2010), Liverpool Crown Court: leading junior in a conspiracy to supply Class A drug.
Operation Subito (2009), Liverpool Crown Court: a complex conspiracy to distribute Class A drugs involving deployment of covert recording devices.
Operation Montrose (2007-2009), Liverpool Crown Court: instructed as leading junior at the appeal stage and for a high value and highly complex Proceeds of Crime Act application. The sentence was successfully appealed and the subsequent The POCA ruling was also successfully appealed and reduced by close on £1m pounds.
Operation Lima (2006-2008), Liverpool Crown Court: an international drugs conspiracy involving cross-examination of Dutch law enforcement officers with a complex Proceeds of Crime Act application. Case involved careful analysis of complex telephone evidence.
R v Gardiner (2009), Liverpool Crown Court: a high profile QC-led murder; a cyclist pursued by the defendant in a car and fatally stabbed.
R v Bennett (2009), Liverpool Crown Court: attempted murder of two police officers. The case involved highly technically ballistic evidence and a forensically detailed cross- examination of firearm experts.
R v Palmer (2016) Court of Appeal – 2016 EWCA Crim 1049 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
Instructed for the prosecution and advised on appeal following dismissal of case at Crown Court. Palmer was convicted of an offence of engaging in licensable conduct otherwise than in accordance with a licence. He operated a security firm. The issue was whether the proceeds of his trade earned when operating without a Private Security Industry licence could be considered to be criminal benefit. The starting point of any analysis is the interpretation provision in section 76 of the Act. POCA; a person benefits from conduct if he obtains property as a result of or in connection with the conduct. The question where benefit has been obtained from criminal conduct must first depend on the proper interpretation of the statute which creates the offence. The Court concluded that Section 3 of the PSIA creates and defines a prohibited act and criminalised the activity of engagement in licensable conduct, not simply failing to obtain a licence. It is therefore constitutes benefit.
R v P (2014) Derby Crown Court- A highly technical and novel case involving industrial scale distribution and storage of indecent images of children and computer misuse. D also disabled employer’s computer system. Undercover FBI agent recorded and downloaded images via Gigatribe from a computer with defendant’s admitted I.P. address. The images could not be found on D’s computer but evidence indicated use of virtual computer using Gigatribe and existence of a hidden container (storing images). D (a computer expert) denied any hidden container and maintained evidence was an encryption exercise. Case required a detailed command of highly complex computer programming data and knowledge of virtual computer systems.
R v Brown (2013) Liverpool Crown Court: locally high profile case to represent taxidermist alleged to have illegally imported and traded in endangered species. The case commanded detailed knowledge of the control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations, EU Law and interpretations. The case involved expert evidence, which included opinion on what constituted a “worked specimen” as defined by Article 2(w) of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97.
R v Bond (2008), Liverpool Crown Court: high profile and unique child abandonment case: a mother abandoned two babies on two separate occasions and traced through DNA. The case involved research into late discovery pregnancies.