Operation Chum: Anne Faul secures the only acquittal in a major Redundancy Fraud

25 July 2019

This was the first fraud of its kind to be litigated in the U.K.

The operation involved a 5-year conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and concerned the submission of hundreds of false claims to the Redundancy Payment Service (RPS). The RPS, which is overseen by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, issues payments to employees who are owed money as a result of a business failing and entering the insolvency process.

Three of the Defendants (who were convicted) were accountants who worked for various accountancy firms between 2010 and 2015. When the relevant businesses entered insolvency, they used this opportunity to submit fraudulent claims. Between 2013 and 2015, three of the Defendants submitted fraudulent claims across 8 third party businesses. In order to “legitimise” the claims, those Defendants created false employment contracts and wage slips.

As a result of the fraud, the Insolvency Service paid over £459,000 of Government money into bank accounts linked to the guilty Defendants. Those Defendants were convicted of converting criminal property, and of claiming a further £401,000 by way of Redundancy Payments. The total fraud exceeded £860,000.

Anne Faul’s client, who was accused of cheating the public revenue and converting criminal property together with the other Defendants in the operation, was unanimously acquitted. She was the only Defendant to be acquitted.