Carbon credit fraud was prevalent a few years ago and a continued onslaught of prosecutions has limited those willing to even take the chance with claiming a carbon credit from the department of energy and climate change.
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate representing the right to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas. It allows a company to lower its carbon footprint on a voluntary basis.
Carbon credit fraud investigations can be lengthy, stressful and upsetting. You may feel very concerned about what might happen to you. You may worry about the outcome and whether you’ll receive a large fine or a hefty prison sentence. You’ll also be concerned about how you’ll be able to financially support your dependents without an income.
As soon as you find out that you’re being investigated or are being charged with this crime, it’s essential that you seek competent legal advice immediately. By working with skilled fraud solicitors, you may even be able to have your case dismissed before it reaches the court stage.
We’ve put the most commonly asked questions together on this page with answers for you. Our aim is to provide you with support and guidance as you go through this difficult time.
Is Carbon Credit Trading illegal?
The trading of carbon credits is not necessarily illegal per se. Carbon credits are lawfully traded by multi-national corporations. However, carbon credits can only be traded successfully (i.e. at a competitive rate) in large amounts, therefore single investors who purchased a small amount of credits from call centres found them almost worthless when trying to compete on the market where large companies were trading carbon credits by the millions.
The fraud and deception element can be erected by scrupulous police investigators who often interview those investors experiencing significant losses. Our fraud solicitors’ experience dictates that investors afraid of losing their capital owing to market conditions will happily over-play the allegation in return for promises from the police that their funds ‘could’ be returned to them.
Police will usually not only bring in the owners, organisers and managers of the business but also those floor workers responsible for selling the credits and cold-calling potential investors. The employees of the business are unlikely to be aware of whether they are selling carbon credits as a genuine investment product or whether the enterprise was dishonest.
Have you been arrested or charged with Carbon Credit Fraud?
If you or somebody close to you has been charged or arrested in connection to a carbon credit fraud, there’s no doubt that you’ll feel stressed and concerned about what the outcome might be.
You may not even have had any involvement but for some reason, you’re being accused of playing a role. It’s vital that you get your name cleared and any confusion cleared up.
What type of actions are considered Carbon Credit Fraud?
Here are some examples of how carbon credit fraud is committed, that may have led to the situation at hand.
EU tax fraud – for instance, transferring credits between businesses.
Fraud of documentation – for example, getting documents certified that are not legal paperwork.
Stolen and bogus credits – an example of this might be getting credits that were not provided through the official route. Credits are not regulated nor standardised. You may even have believed that the credits you were given were real.
There are many other examples. If you would like to know more about whether a crime that you’ve been linked to is classified as a carbon credit fraud crime, you can always make contact with us for further information.
What happens in a Carbon Credit Fraud investigation?
When a carbon credit fraud investigation takes place, you are likely to find it very stressful. You’re likely to be feeling anxious about the future wellbeing of your family. Being imprisoned will mean that you won’t be able to make an income. Will your dependents have enough money to cover food and bills?
During this time your life will be feeling unstable and unsettled.
Each case is different, but whatever your circumstances it’s crucial that you speak with a skilled fraud solicitor. Gaining access to somebody who can give you some legal advice, emotional support and guidance to help you to handle the investigation process will make all the difference.
You may have been falsely accused of carbon credit fraud
There are many cases where people have been wrongly accused of being involved in a carbon credit fraud case. In some cases, a person’s bank account may have been used, but they won’t have known anything about this. Otherwise, their name may be used to benefit from fraud financially. If this is your situation, then a competent solicitor should be able to get your case dismissed.
There have been occasions where the prosecution has attempted to charge a person with carbon credit fraud in an attempt to find out who was involved. An excellent legal team would be able to recognise whether this is a case of the prosecution throwing mud to see what sticks.
Without a lawyer, you cannot find out more until the interview
Even if you are arrested, you’re quite unlikely to find out why you’re being accused or investigated until you attend your first police interview.
In a case such as this, it’s crucial to engage with a solicitor before you attend the interview. The solicitor will be able to gain access to further information about the carbon credit fraud investigation. In combination with information provided by yourself, the fraud solicitor can use this information to construct a defence for you.
Many people find it frustrating that the police gain permission to look into all areas of your life to obtain evidence. This investigation may include your social media accounts to your bank account to your NHS records in addition to all your contacts and relationships.
Instruct a legal professional as soon as possible
We recommend that you do not attend any police interview without being supported by a proficient fraud solicitor.
The questions that are asked at the interview are likely to be very probing. You may be shown evidence that the police have obtained to prove their case against you. The interview will be high pressure, and you may find it very upsetting.
At the end of the interview, you may be charged with carbon credit fraud.
What should you do if you get arrested or charged with Carbon credit fraud?
Carbon credit fraud is an area of the law that can be very complicated. Although you aren’t obliged to take legal representation, we recommend that you do so. English laws are always changing, and without being constantly on top of them, they are hard to keep up with and understand.
What makes the difference in engaging a fraud solicitor is that they have in-depth knowledge of the law, and they have acquired relevant and valuable experience in similar cases. They will know how they may be able to get you off a charge of this nature. You are supported throughout the entire process so that you get the best possible outcome.
Hiring specialist knowledge will give you peace of mind. We advise that you get in touch with us as soon as you can so that we can assess your case before it develops further.
Can the police search my home?
The police will request the courts for a search warrant so that they can legally search your home and possibly your workplace for evidence. They will search for evidence on phone bill statements, money transfers and seize any valuable assets. They may put you and your family and connections under surveillance.
Could you go to prison for Carbon credit fraud?
Carbon credit fraud is a severe offence that comes with serious punishment if you are convicted. You may be imprisoned for up to ten years and charged a fine.
Of course, this is a very worrying time for both you and your family. It’s vitally important that you take the right steps to protect the wellbeing of you all.
It’s imperative that you engage a fraud solicitor who handles carbon credit fraud cases regularly.
What type of sentence could you get for Carbon credit fraud?
A Carbon credit fraud case is heard at a crown court. If you are found guilty and convicted, you may be given up to ten years’ imprisonment, given a fine or even receive both. The maximum sentence of ten years is typically given to the most serious of cases.
What mitigating factors may be considered in sentencing?
The prosecution will need to convince the jury that you are guilty and knew what the implications were of what you were doing. The judge will look at your circumstances, what took place and may consider any other convictions that you have to decide what sentence to issue.
Does a conviction for Carbon credit fraud go on your criminal record?
If your carbon credit fraud case progresses to court and you are found guilty and convicted, your conviction will be endorsed on the CRB / police records.
The length of the endorsement depends on the length and nature of the sentence imposed on you.
How Can Stuart Miller Solicitors Help?
Our fraud solicitors will scrutinise the prosecution investigation or prosecution. We will prepare against any of your former colleagues providing prosecution evidence against you or giving evidence which is detrimental to your case. We will collect all favourable defence material to support and strengthen your case and we will instruct forensic and financial experts required to spread credibility over you defence case.
If you are served with restraint orders, your property is seized or your cash detained; you will require specialist advice from commercially savvy lawyers. We will defend you from the start of the case to the end, including confiscation proceedings if you are convicted.
Want a free consultation with our Carbon Credit Fraud Solicitors?
If you’re facing a carbon credit fraud case, please contact us and ask to speak to our fraud lawyers. We can arrange to speak to you in person, online or by telephone. If you prefer, you can WhatsApp us from the link you will find on this page.
What will happen when I instruct a fraud lawyer?
We offer a dedicated solicitor, barrister and caseworker to each carbon credit fraud case, which will ensure an outstanding level of customer service throughout. You can be sure that someone will always be available to assist you, and there is more than one legal mind being applied to the issues in your case.
Also, we use only the best mobile phone experts and only the most competent financial experts to study, analyse and evaluate the evidence to provide useful defence evidence or discredit the prosecution’s evidence.
The taking of action very early on in any case, is what increases the chances of success. Some prosecutions are intimidating, complex and need skilful advice at every crossroads.
We will offer you a free consultation for you to discuss your case with us. We can act for you at the police station for free and after that, we can help assess your financial eligibility for legal aid.
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 or send us a message / email.
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