Success Stories

Fraud client avoids custody

By Katy Smart  |  13.03.2020

Sonn Macmillan Walker represented a defendant who was accused of being a part of a £358k fraud using BT customers’ details to set up Paypal accounts to order expensive goods.

Our client was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation along with her co-defendants and with converting criminal property. She was arrested in Greece and, despite a willingness to cooperate with the proceedings, was brought over to the UK on a European Arrest Warrant. Sonn Macmillan Walker were instructed from the outset and assisted with our client’s surrender to the UK. Chris Stevens successfully represented her at the initial hearing by securing her bail.

On the face of it there were aggravating features in respect of the converting criminal property. To be guilty of this offence, the defendant must have known or suspected that the item represented criminal property and that it was disposed of. Therefore, the prosecution only had to prove that our client suspected the item she had been gifted by a co-defendant was criminal property.

Along with the co-defendants’ guilty pleas, we were able to establish certain important facts, such as our client being out of the country for much of the conspiracy. That persuaded the Crown to offer no evidence in respect of the wider conspiracy. Our client pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of converting criminal property. With personal mitigation, including previous good character, our client was fined £1000. The remaining seven defendants were sentenced to between 16 and 44 months’ imprisonment.

Our client was happy with the outcome and grateful to the team for their hard work:

‘Hi Katy, I want to say a very big thanks to you, Anna, John and the rest of your team, that worked so hard on my case. I don’t believe that I could have got a better result than this.’

Katy Smart was the solicitor in the case, assisted by Anna Leathem. John Oliver of 5 St Andrew’s Hill was counsel. You can read more here.

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