Chicken carcasses
Rebecca Ironmonger

Interview Under Caution - Fraud Act offences

Who was the Client?

Medium sized food processing factory regulated by Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency (“FSA”).

What was the issue the client needed help with?

The Client was invited to an Interview Under Caution by the National Food Crime Unit at the FSA in relation to allegations that they used chicken that was not fit for human consumption in their products and fraudulently sold those products on the market.

Why did they choose Roythornes?

The client had been referred to Roythornes by one of our existing clients.

What have we done for the client?

We took instructions from the client and requested pre-disclosure from the investigating officer, who provided details of the samples taken at the premises and further details of the FSA’s allegations.

We reviewed the material provided by the regulator and scrutinised it for any discrepancies. We compared the evidence provided by the FSA to our client’s instructions.

We assisted in producing a very detailed Written Statement in response to the allegation made against the client and provided the same to the investigating officer. We obtained relevant documentation from our client to support their statement and provided this as an exhibit.

What has been the benefit to the client?

If the Criminal Investigating officer believes they have enough evidence to prosecute and it is in the public interest to do so, they will pass the case to a prosecutor. The investigation will then be concluded, and the client will be summoned to the Magistrates Court.

The FSA has confirmed that they will not be prosecuting our client and the investigation into our client has been closed.

As the client was accused of very serious Fraud Act offences, being prosecuted in the Magistrates Court or even Crown Court would have resulted in damage to the business’ reputation and high legal fees. If the client had been found guilty, a prison sentence for the Director could also have been possible in addition to a hefty fine.

Why was the case important?

It is very important to respond to a request to Interview Under Caution, so far as possible, as the investigation could lead to a prosecution which will be much more costly to defend. If a Client does not respond to a request for Interview Under Caution, it is likely that the matter will be sent for prosecution as the investigator will only have the evidence from the regulator.

 

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