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Reputations of any professionals involved in boiler room fraud investigations can be damaged, even if they are ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, causing often irreparable harm to both their professional and personal life. Boiler room fraud cases can be highly complex and require a defence team who have the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to achieve the best possible outcome.
Boiler room fraud is the selling of shares which come from companies that are worthless or, in the worst cases, do not really exist. Boiler room fraud can also refer to the selling of shares that are grossly overpriced.
Boiler room fraud schemes work by salespeople, who often pretend to be stockbrokers, getting in touch with investors and persuading them to buy these shares. Usually, this is achieved by cold calling individuals and promising them that they will receive extremely high returns on their investment. If an investor later changes their mind about investing, these salespeople may use intimidation tactics, such as threatening legal action, in order to force through the sale.
As well as shares, boiler room fraud scams can also involve the sale of development land. In this scenario, the salespeople will tell the investor that the land will obtain planning permission and will be worth a lot more money when this occurs.
Many boiler room fraud businesses have quality websites and marketing materials, which make potential investors think they are dealing with the ‘real deal’.
‘Boiler room’ refers to the early practice of running these types of high-pressure sales scams out of a boiler room or a basement of a building.
Yes. Often, people are recruited by those organising the boiler room fraud without any knowledge that the fraud is taking place. The salespeople sometimes have no idea that the shares they are selling are worthless or come from non-existent companies.
Anyone defrauding another person for financial gain will be prosecuted.
Conspiracy to defraud is the most common offence those involved in boiler room fraud cases are charged with. Conspiracy to defraud is a common law offence, which means that it was developed by the courts, rather than statute.
The prosecution must be able to prove dishonesty in order for the alleged offender to be convicted. If the prosecution cannot prove dishonesty, a conviction cannot be made.
Conspiracy to defraud is triable on indictment only. This means that it is dealt with in the Crown Court.
Boiler room fraud is a serious crime. As such, anyone convicted is likely to receive a prison sentence. Normally, this sentence would be a minimum of four or five years.
The maximum sentence for boiler room fraud (under conspiracy to defraud) is 10 years in prison.
As well as a prison sentence, anyone convicted of boiler room fraud may also receive other penalties, such as:
Being involved in a boiler room fraud investigation can result in your assets being frozen.
When considering the sentence to give to someone convicted of boiler room fraud, the courts will consider both the amount of harm caused and the seriousness of the crime.
Factors the court can assess when deciding on a sentence for boiler room fraud include:
Aggravating factors are aspects of a case which could cause a judge to increase the prison sentence for an offender.
In boiler room fraud, the aggravating factors include:
Mitigating factors are aspects of a case which could cause a judge to reduce the prison sentence.
In a boiler room fraud case, mitigating factors include:
Pleading guilty can also reduce a prison sentence.
Having an experienced boiler room fraud solicitor on your side from an early stage, could make a real difference to the outcome of your case.
It is normal to feel anxious and stressed if you have been accused of boiler room fraud. Waiting for the outcome of a boiler room fraud investigation can be nerve-wracking, particularly if you had no idea what you were involved in.
Experienced defence boiler room fraud lawyers understand how prosecutions in this area of law work and how the prosecution will seek to build a case against you, in your particular circumstances. Boiler room fraud solicitors have the necessary expertise to be able to build a robust defence, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Whether you are accused of running a boiler room fraud scheme or making cold calls as one of the sales team, it is crucial that you seek legal advice as soon as possible from a solicitor experienced in this area of law.
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