Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Fraudster escapes prison after skilfully negotiated plea deal.
Quentin represented Mr LB, an individual accused of fraud as a director of a green energy company installing solar panels. Mr L was accused of a total of 8 offences relating to financial irregularities within the company and the fraudulent installation of solar panels for the purposes of receiving rebates from the government in respect of the ‘feed in tariff’ system. These included counts under the Fraud Act 2006 alleging fraud by false representation.
The evidence against Mr B brought by over 7 unrelated witnesses was comprehensive and overwhelming and as a result Mr B was investigating entering pleas to all matters. Quentin took over representation at the Crown Court stage, Mr B having been previously advised by legal aid solicitors to plead Not Guilty.
Upon analysis of the case by Quentin it appeared that the prosecution was alleging that the total loss to the victims in the case was over £143,000. According to the prosecution's analysis of the Fraud Sentencing Guidelines in the case this would result in a sentence at category 2A of the sentencing guidelines with a starting point sentence of 5 years’ custody.
Quentin immediately began to negotiate with the prosecution. He firstly secured an agreement that the prosecution would drop 3 of the counts on the indictment in return for pleas in respect of the remaining 6.
In respect of the remaining 6 counts Quentin conducted a meticulous financial analysis of the figures within the prosecution papers and uncovered a number of errors of fact and principle with which he was able to argue for a significant reduction in the basis upon which the defendant was sentenced. Having completed his analysis Quentin was able to persuade the prosecution to reduce their figure from £143,000 to £70,000. This brought the sentence down a whole category in the sentencing guidelines.
Quentin was also able to put together an impressive mitigation package on the client’s behalf which was put forward in detail at the sentencing hearing. As a result of Quentin’s efforts Mr B was sentenced to a 12 month suspended sentence with no other order save for the prosecution costs. This meant that Mr B would not suffer any punishment as long as he is not convicted of another criminal offence in the next 2 years. This was a far cry from the 5 years immediate custody that Mr B had originally faced.
If you find yourself faced with an allegation of fraud you need a skilled and pragmatic advocate who will fight your corner at every stage. Quentin Hunt is a specialist fraud barrister with over two decades’ experience in defending serious fraud allegations. You may contact Quentin for a no obligation conversation about your case.