Furlough Fraud Defence
Murray’s solicitors are the leaders in defending false furlough investigations. We act for company directors in matters relating to frozen business accounts and applications for freezing orders and thereafter, forfeiture applications before the Court.
Senior Murray’s director, Ian Clarke has acted in one of the largest HMRC prosecutions to date, alleging a multi-million-pound false furlough claim.
Our expert and experienced team are available during the investigation stages and can assist with legal advice to assist and challenge applications for restraining and freezing orders, as well as forfeiture.
If you are under investigation or face a prosecution for furlough fraud, we can offer clear legal advice, assistance, and robust representation to help with your defence.
Whether you have made an honest mistake when applying the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to your business or someone within the business is suspected of committing furlough fraud, the expert regulatory solicitors at Murrays can help you prepare a strong defence and protect your position.
Types of Furlough Fraud
HMRC has made it clear that they will take action against anyone found to have dishonestly claimed under the government’s coronavirus support schemes. These being the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This can include:
- Undeclared overpayments
- Use of the grant for anything other than paying employees’ wages
- Reducing wages below the amount claimed
- Requiring staff to undertake work when part of the scheme
- Claiming for workers no longer employed by the business
Work Constructively with HMRC Investigators
If you are being investigated by HMRC for furlough fraud and are worried you may have accidentally breached the rules, it is important to work constructively with investigators, as criminal proceedings may be pursued where there is evidence of deliberate dishonesty.
Any cases where genuine mistakes have been made should be rectified in cooperation with HMRC to bring the matter to a swift conclusion.
Self-report Any Suspicions Within Your Business
Should you have a suspicion that someone within your business has committed furlough fraud or has made an honest mistake, it is important to act quickly as failure to react could have serious consequences for you and your business. It might be advisable to self-report the issue to HMRC to protect your company and yourself from criminal or civil proceedings. We can advise on whether self-reporting is a viable option for you.
How to Respond to an HMRC Investigation for Furlough Fraud
Being investigated by HMRC can be confusing and very stressful, so it is important that you get advice on your legal position and what steps you need to take next to make sure you fully cooperate with HMRC investigators.
Any attempts to hinder an investigation for furlough fraud could result in harsher penalties. We can help you respond appropriately and make sure you disclose any required information while keeping your interests protected.
If HMRC suspects you have engaged in furlough fraud, they can apply for search warrants, production orders or account freezing orders. In some cases, they may make an application for a restraint order under the Proceed of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), meaning you could lose access to your personal property and bank accounts, as well as your business assets.
To speak to a solicitor about allegations of furlough fraud made against you, contact us today.