Serious Fraud Office

Updated on Thursday 29th April 2021

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The Serious Fraud Office or SFO as it is known is a non-ministerial government department, founded in 1987, in charge of investigating serious fraud cases in UK, such as corruption, bribery, or business crimes, to give some examples. It is important to note that the Serious Fraud Office is the main enforcer of the UK Bribery Act 2010. On the other hand, persons accused of serious offences are suggested to get in touch with our criminal defence solicitors in London for legal advice and representation.

How was the SFO formed?

The non-governmental organization was established after a series of financial crimes and scandals that took place in London, as a response to complex fraud cases that needed to be solved in a legal and proficient way. The Fraud Trials Committee was established in 1983, under the supervision of Lord Roskill, as an independent agency, guided by the principles saying that law amendments and adjustments would be beneficial when fighting against fraud. Then, the Serious Fraud Office was a natural response for investigating complex and serious fraud cases in UK, created by the Criminal Justice Act 1987. Since then, the Serious Fraud Office in UK investigated crime cases involving financial criminalities (boiler room frauds, investment frauds, Ponzi schemes, etc.), human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and weapon sales with worldwide connections, among many other cases, despite political pressure and other problems.

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The responsibilities and activities of SFO

The Serious Fraud Office in UK has multiple powers, being in charge of investigation and prosecution in fraud cases. The agency is formed of forensic accountants, investigators, law clerks and solicitors, 80% of the staff being specialist caseworkers. Here are a few details about the attributes of the Serious Fraud Office:
  1. Financial cases with huge losses involved.
  2. Fraud cases that affect the public interest or the ones with potential harm.
  3. Investigation of new types of fraud cases.
  4. Financial frauds involving public funds.
If you have been accused of financial frauds, we strongly recommend you avoid acting on your own and talk to one of our criminal defence lawyers in London. Our investment fraud solicitors in London can provide immediate legal assistance and support and can be your partner during the proceedings you deal with.

Bribery and corruption cases handled by SFO

Political corruption involving governmental institutions, employees and officials who act in their personal interest by using bribery, extortion, embezzlement, patronage or cronyism enters the attention of the Serious Fraud Office, alongside corporate corruption cases. The agency investigates and prosecutes such cases, in compliance with the applicable laws in UK. The Serious Fraud Office closely collaborates with international investigation agencies with the help of a dedicated International Assistance team. 

SFO helps victims find justice

Besides investigating serious fraud cases of any kind, SFO also helps victims find justice for their cases and recover a part of the losses. In this direction, you can also work with one of our criminal defence solicitors in London and ask for complete legal assistance and advice if you have been a victim of fraud.

How can a fraud solicitor in London help you?

We have an experienced team of fraud solicitors in London who can represent both offenders and victims in serious fraud cases. Any fraud accusation you confront will enter our attention as soon as you get in touch with our criminal defence lawyer in London who will attentively analyze your case and propose a series of defence strategies. It is important to know that your rights will be explained from the beginning, mentioning that, if you are kept into custody, it is highly recommended to avoid answering police questions until your legal representative gets in touch with you. We are at your service if you need legal support and representation in serious fraud cases, whether as an offender or victim. Here are some facts and figures about frauds in UK:
  • UK retailers reporter frauds worth around GBP 265 million for 2018;
  • e-commerce fraud worth about GBP 393.4 million was registered in 2018 in UK;
  • about GBP 16 million was the counterfeit cheque losses in UK in 2018;
  • remote banking fraud worth around GBP 153 million was reported in 2018.
Persons interested in more details about the Serious Fraud Office in UK are invited to contact our team of criminal defence solicitors in London. We are at your disposal with comprehensive legal advice and support.