A medium-sized food processing factory which produces products such as donor kebabs for the national and international market was raided by Trading Standards and the National Food Crime Unit at the Food Standards Agency (“FSA”) and subsequently invited for an interview under caution in relation to allegations of breaches of the Fraud Act.
We advised the client at both the time of the raid and when the subsequent invitation for an interview under caution was received. After taking detailed instructions from our client, we contacted the investigator to request pre-disclosure of documents. We then assisted our client to produce a detailed response in the form of a written statement instead of attending an in-person interview.
The investigator has confirmed after reviewing the detailed statement and exhibit with the Crown Prosecution Service that they will not be prosecuting our client and the investigation into our client is closed.
It is important to respond to all requests for interviews under caution if you possibly can as a detailed statement setting out your position can prevent the FSA and CPS from prosecuting you in the Magistrates Court. Defending a prosecution in the Magistrates Court can be costly both to your business’ finances and to your reputation, so it is usually worth the cost of getting advice at the interview stage than leaving it until a summons is received.