A leading criminal investigations lawyer from Irwin Mitchell is warning Yorkshire businesses that the current economic climate is likely to see an increase in fraud costing business millions of pounds in lost revenue and reputational damage.
Dan Stowers, Partner in the Regulatory & Criminal Investigations Group (RCG) at Irwin Mitchell says: "We have seen a significant number of new instructions to defend in criminal fraud cases.
"Businesses are being much more careful and vigilant over their financial management and are more aware of their spending than ever before, leading to an increase in the amount of fraudulent activity being discovered.
"Our experience also suggests that in harder economic times more people have been 'tempted' to enter into fraudulent activity. This will have a knock-on effect in a couple of years as it usually takes this long for fraud to be uncovered, investigated and prosecuted.
"Many of the cases we are working on at present are arising from alleged offences that occurred one or two years ago and even longer.
"The Irwin Mitchell RCG team has a strong reputation for defending in serious and complex criminal investigations and prosecutions and is currently handling a caseload where the fraud is alleged to exceed £150m.
Cases dealt with by the team include those brought by HM Revenue and Customs, the Fraud Prosecution Teams of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office.