Boiler rooms have been pursued relentlessly by the police and prosecutors since the early 2000s. Boiler room frauds have been known to target the vulnerable, the elderly and foreigners in the UK. With bases usually set in Spain or other European & warm / fun climates, telesales reps are given a script and trained to 'sell-hard'.
The UK government came down hard on regulators when it comes to financial services. Having to bail out UK banks after the financial crisis, the government wants to be seen to challenge any malpractice that they identify in this industry. They won’t hesitate to prosecute any individuals that they capture whether they are a small-time stockbroker, mortgage broker or another type of intermediary.
If you or somebody close to you has been accused of boiler room fraud, it’s natural to feel worried, stressed and anxious about what the outcome of an investigation might be.
Some of those involved and accused of boiler room fraud have been employed by fraudsters and are unaware that what they are selling is fake. Others may have been accused, but you may not have wittingly done anything wrong.
The first step to take to protect yourself is to hire a lawyer who has the expertise and experience required to bring your case to the best possible conclusion.
More about boiler room fraud
The boiler room will take on the identity of a firm that is licensed to sell shares or give investment advice. The marketing collateral for the businesses that they are selling shares for will have a professionally designed website in addition to other very convincing brochures. Typically, the company will promote themselves as being on the verge of a significant breakthrough or the discovery of a natural resource or oil and is at the threshold of enjoying fabulous gains for all investors. However, the outcome will be considerably different and investors will typically lose most if not all the money.
The sales tactics are usually high pressure and filled with promises of exceptionally high returns. It’s estimated that the average boiler room fraud loss per person is around £20k.
Typically prosecuted as conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and money laundering, allegations of involvement with boiler rooms usually involve huge volumes of evidence and cut-throat defences (people blaming each other). The cold-callers will usually suggest involvement on the basis of honest and genuine employment, as will the floor-managers, who are often enticed by credible-looking websites and performance related-pay. There are those instructed as agents to build the IT networks and manage marketing campaigns, which is a central role in the boiler room.
Marketing agents or members of staff are tasked with key responsibilities without which the boiler room cannot operate. Creating websites to show credibility, creating scripts for cold-callers to read, designing and delivering brochures about the ‘investment’ to send to interested parties and even drafting share certificates and bonds. This role requires close contact with the coordinators and owners of the boiler room and exposes agents to the risk of prosecution.
Have you been accused of being involved in a Boiler Room Fraud?
Being accused of any offence naturally makes people feel worried. They will be concerned that they will be imprisoned and then may not be able to provide for their dependents. It’s also very worrying to think about what having a criminal record can do to your career.
On this page, we have listed out the most frequently asked questions by our clients with the answers. We aim to provide you with support and guidance to get through this challenging time. If you have a question that is not listed here, feel free to contact us or call us on 0208 888 5225 and we will do what we can to provide you with the answer.
What type of actions are considered Boiler Room Fraud?
Here are some examples of boiler room fraud that may have led to the situation at hand.
Shares in a company – promises of fabulous returns will encourage an investor to buy anywhere from thousands of pounds of shares to over a million pounds. Often it will be their life long savings, property or their retirement fund that gets spent on shares that never materialise. The commodities involved might be petrol, fuel, gold or oil. The investor may even receive share certificates to ensure the credibility of the shares is protected.
Development land – with a promise that a piece of land will be getting planning permission and will increase its value by vast amounts, the innocent investor could lose a large amount of money.
What happens in a Boiler Room Fraud investigation?
You’ll first hear that you’re part of an investigation into boiler room fraud when the police contact you. You may be invited to the police station for a chat, or you may even have been arrested and charged.
Depending on where the boiler room fraud headquarters is located, the prosecutors may even be assisted by agencies such as Europol, Eurojust or anti-money laundering units of other countries.
The primary objective of the police and prosecutors will be to try to prove your guilt, enough to gain a conviction. When you are invited to a police interview, it’s likely that they will be trying to trip you up so that you incriminate yourself. They won’t disclose all the evidence they have on you. This is why it’s so important to take legal counsel.
By taking a fraud lawyer with you to the interview, you can be advised about what to say, not say and what to do so that the police cannot trip you up.
Another factor to make a note of is that English laws are very complicated and regularly change. Without knowing them inside out, it’s going to be very different to defend yourself.
Can the police search my home?
The police will be going out of their way to find evidence to use against you in court. With their primary goal being to gain a conviction, they will ask a judge or a magistrate for a search warrant. Using the search warrant to lawfully gain access to your property, vehicle and workplace, they will be seeking any form of evidence that they can use in court.
They will also do the same for others who may be facing the same allegation as you. Sometimes the police may find nothing incriminating in your possession of your property but they may find something relating to you at the property or in the possession of others.
Could you go to prison for Boiler Room Fraud?
Boiler room fraud is considered a serious offence. Depending what the role is that you played you may be given a prison sentence.
We handle boiler room fraud cases regularly and have deep expertise in this field. We can help you by recommending the best course of action to take to mitigate the outcome. No matter what size your case is, get in touch.
What type of sentence could you get for Boiler Room Fraud?
Depending on what you are charged with and what your role was in the boiler room fraud, the sentence can range from being suspended to 5 years’ imprisonment.
We will review all the factors in your case and give you a clear indication as early as possible, so you and your family members can be prepared for the worst case scenario.
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
When sentencing for boiler room fraud, the court will examine your case thoroughly. The judge will examine your role and whether you were aware of the fraud taking place. If you’ve used a false identity, or you have used the identity of others to access more funds, this will be taken into account to decide upon your sentence.
Does a conviction for Boiler Room Fraud go on your criminal record?
If your boiler room fraud case progresses to court and you are convicted of defrauding unsuspecting investors, your conviction will be noted on the CRB / police record. The period of the endorsement will depend on the length and type of sentence passed on you.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
Stuart Miller Solicitors have been involved in some of the most high-profile boiler room fraud cases of recent times and with the ethos of early engagement, we have successfully avoided prosecutions.
If you have been accused of being involved in a boiler room fraud, regardless of the position you are alleged to be working in, instructing experienced fraud lawyers is vital. We believe that early action in any legal case is pivotal to increasing the chances of success. Evidence secured at the outset can change the destiny of the case and we will work closely with you to understand everything that happened so we can extract the most useful defence points.
Our specialist boiler room fraud solicitors are experienced at representing individuals alleged to be the masterminds, those alleged to be the co-ordinators or floor managers and those alleged to have delivered the final blow, namely the floor workers or cold-callers. Regardless of your level of involvement, we have the knowledge, skill and experience to provide you with unrivalled service. We understand how and to what extent the police will pursue evidence from those investors who may have lost vast sums of money. We appreciate how your enterprise may have been in a position to launch, but your efforts may have been compromised due to the unscrupulous interception by the police.
We have access to some of the best experts who will offer their knowledge to support your case. We only instruct leading barristers and QCs who will engage with your case together with your case supervisor, solicitor and caseworker from the outset.
We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will attend the police station with you to guide you through the daunting process of being interviewed on tape. Crucially, we will advise you of when to speak and when to remain silent as this can often determine how your case progresses at court.
What will happen when I instruct a fraud lawyer?
We firmly believe that early action in any legal case is central to increasing the chances of success. Everything you say and every decision you make can lead to major changes for the future of both yourself and your loved one.
Please contact our fraud lawyers to arrange your meeting, whether face to face, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can also send us a WhatsApp message using the link on this page.
The focus of our fraud solicitors is to defend allegations of fraud every day. This is the only area of law that they practice in. In addition to possessing their legal knowledge, they are commercially aware and current with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and tax evasion matters. You can receive advice on matters pertaining to confiscation proceedings and restraint orders.
We understand the dynamics of boiler rooms, the way in which they operate, the different departments within them and the people who control them or who benefit from them. We have defended those involved in investment frauds at all levels. Whether the organisers, the floor-managers, the IT technicians or the sales reps.
No matter what your level of involvement, our fraud lawyers will give you a pro-active and energetic service. We know that by selecting the best barristers, we can give you a defence that will give you greater protection. We also use expert witnesses who can help with evidence extracted from any computing device or mobile phone.
Having worked on a large number of boiler room fraud cases, we know the best strategies to get you the most positive outcome.
Would you like to discuss your case before instructing us?
If you’d like to have a no obligation chat with us before you instruct us to take your case, then call us today.
Our legal team can give you a free and no obligation consultation, we can also represent you at the police station if you’ve been arrested. We can also look at securing your legal aid.
Please contact us for a face to face meeting, a telephone call or any other platform of communication suitable to you.
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