Services for prosecuting authorities

The Armstrong Watson forensic accounting team are able to provide a full range of services to assist prosecuting authorities to investigate alleged offences and then, if required, present the evidence in Court in a manner that can be readily assimilated by the judge and jury. We understand that an investigation has to pass through a number of phases before charges are agreed and the case proceeds to Court. As a result we can be appointed to act as expert at any point in the investigation and prosecution process.

In addition, if you do not consider that the case needs a full expert report we are able to provide a range of other services to assist you in presenting the evidence in Court. For example, you may require us to undertake an initial review of accounting evidence such as Sage or other computerised records, an analysis of publicly available accounting information or to consider explanations provided by internal or external accountants.

We are frequently appointed to assist at the start of investigations and the results of our work are then used to help formulate the charges. This has the advantage that you can be sure that any accounting evidence concurs with the charges brought.

Alternatively, you may require us to assist by converting bank statements into an electronic format and then analysing the information to assist with your enquiries or for presentation in Court in the form of a database (for further information please see our Specialist document scanning software page).

We deliberately prepare the databases in such a way that they have all the information available, and hence can be readily used, should the matter proceed to confiscation. In particular, the analyses can be easily adapted if individuals are acquitted or particular assets are to be excluded from the proceedings.

Liesel Annible has significant experience of acting for the prosecution in numerous cases and is frequently called to give evidence, being described as a ‘robust’ witness. She is listed as an expert on the Database of Expert Advisers maintained by the National Crime Agency.

Liesel has recently acted in a number of cases of serious organised crime as well as charity frauds and frauds against vulnerable individuals. Liesel is frequently assisted by Claire Prideaux, who is also very experienced and undertakes expert assignments in her own name.

If you would like to find out more about how we are able to assist you, please get in touch.

Contact our Forensic accounting team on 0808 144 5575 to discuss how we can help you.

Case Studies

   R -v- David Barton and others

Mr Barton was the former director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with the operation of a nursing home known as Barton Park. He was alleged to have been involved in a number of offences relating to conspiracy to defraud vulnerable individuals and money laundering. Liesel provided both written and oral evidence in the trial, understood to be the longest fraud trial in the history of Merseyside Crown Court. Mr Barton was found guilty of the majority of the offences including money laundering and was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.

   R -v- Ronald Chigunwe

Mr Chigunwe was the former financial controller at Wessex Heartbeat, a Hampshire based charity. It was alleged that he had stolen over £400,000 from the charity in the form of cash donations and cheques drawn on the charity’s bank account. Whilst it was clear that the cheques had been deposited in bank accounts controlled by Mr Chigunwe, it was more difficult to prove that he had received the cash. Liesel utilised the charity’s records relating to cash donations to identify the cash that the charity should have received and compared this to the cash deposits shown on Mr Chigunwe’s accounts. She was able to show that he had significant amounts of cash deposits that could not be explained from his known legitimate sources of income. Mr Chigunwe pleaded guilty to the thefts and was sentenced to four years imprisonment.

   Operation Canvas

Liesel Annible was instructed by the prosecution in relation to charges of human trafficking and operating cannabis farms against four defendants. It was alleged the proceeds of the criminal activity had been laundered through nail bars. We prepared a report analysing the transactions on the bank accounts for the various individuals and businesses involved, including the cash which was deposited at numerous locations throughout England. We also considered the business records and accounts for the various businesses, together with HMRC records for the individuals, to assess whether they reflected the transactions on the bank statements. One of the defendants produced a defence expert report on the first day of the trial and we were able to prepare a report in response within a few days. All four defendants pleaded guilty to the charges.

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