Cases involving accusations of MTIC fraud or carousel fraud are notoriously complex. Often these will involve numerous companies operating in a chain with interlinking trading relationships, making the unravelling of transactions and the effective leading of evidence extremely difficult. In pursuit of prosecutions for MTIC/carousel fraud, the UK Government employs lawyers with specialist training in handling complex financial cases. As a result, it is vital for those accused of this type of fraud to have access to the best legal expertise so that they can conduct a robust defence.
The Criminal Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith have the required skills, knowledge and determination to ruthlessly develop a top-level strategy on your behalf. With enforcement authorities being given substantial powers to assist them in the carrying out of their investigations, and heavy penalties for those convicted of MTIC/carousel fraud, those subject to such investigations should seek expert legal advice immediately to ensure the best outcome in their case. Call our Criminal Defence Team today to find out how we can help.
What is MTIC/carousel fraud?
Missing Trader Intra Community (MTIC) fraud, or carousel fraud, is a type of VAT fraud involving the importation of high-value goods, often mobile phones and computer chips, into the UK from EU countries. These are usually imported in substantial quantities and will then be sold on at a VAT-inclusive price, with goods passing through a complex chain of companies who are all liable for the paying of VAT. The original dealer, or a dealer somewhere down the chain, will then disappear without paying the VAT that is due. In some cases, the goods may then be exported back to another EU country, with the exporting company reclaiming the VAT from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Due to the scale of the fraud and the value of the goods involved, such schemes can result in millions of pounds worth of VAT going unpaid.
How are cases of MTIC/carousel fraud prosecuted?
Investigations into MTIC/carousel fraud are often complex and lengthy due to the way in which these frauds are carried out, using chains of companies and multiple transactions. Investigations are undertaken by a number of agencies specialising in financial crimes and tax fraud, one of the most
prominent being HMRC, which has extensive investigatory powers allowing for the carrying out of both civil and criminal investigations. For a successful prosecution, it must be proven that there has been an agreement between the parties involved in the transactions to falsely reclaim VAT.
HMRC works alongside the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), as well as other specialist agencies with responsibility for investigating and prosecuting financial crime in the UK. This includes the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a prosecuting authority which, as part of the UK’s criminal justice system, has responsibility for investigating and prosecuting fraud cases that are serious or complex in nature in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Investigators have powers to arrest, detain, and interview individuals under caution, as well as powers to search for and seize items and use compelled interviews. In most instances, those convicted of MTIC/carousel fraud will be the subject of action under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), resulting in the confiscation or freezing of assets that are suspected of being obtained through criminal conduct.
Contact our MTIC/Carousel Fraud Defence Lawyers in Sheffield and London Today
Wilford Smith’s Financial Crime Solicitors are experts in advising on allegations of fraud, tax investigations and confiscation proceedings carried out under the Proceeds of Crime Act, and are able to attract the highest calibre barristers to provide support when necessary. For those subject to tax or financial investigations, we can provide representation when attending interviews under caution or interviews under compulsion, as well as assisting companies who choose to make voluntary disclosures to regulatory bodies. With many years experience advising prominent clients, we are well aware of the adverse publicity that can arise from an investigation or court hearing, and our team of solicitors can provide guidance on managing risks to reputation resulting from regulatory investigations and prosecutions.
Our Criminal Defence Solicitors are based in Sheffield and London and serve clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.