Crimes of Dishonesty

Are you looking for the best solicitors to defend you on a charge of dishonesty?

Gray & Cooper Group, solicitors is a multi-award-winning law firm consistently rated and recommended as one of the leading criminal defense teams across the world.

Our specialist team provides decades of combined experience in successfully defending every type of dishonesty charge likely to come before any criminal court, including:

  • Theft (including charges of Shoplifting, Housebreaking, Theft of Motor Vehicle)
  • Embezzlement
  • Fraud
  • Benefits Fraud
  • Money Laundering
  • Bribery and Corruption
  • Extortion
  • Proceeds of Crime
  • Online Crime
  • Intellectual Property Crime
  • Online Copyright Infringement
  • Tax and VAT evasion
  • White-collar Crime

We understand that a charge of dishonesty can have a major impact on the reputation, livelihood and liberty of those we represent. So if you’re facing what for you is the nightmare of a charge of dishonesty, tip the scales in your favour. Get in touch now.

You can count on us to identify the questions to ask and to provide you with the answers you need.

Here are just some examples of how we can help.


Theft is the dishonest taking or appropriating of property belonging to another, without the owner’s consent, and with the intention of depriving the owner of the property.

Theft can also be ‘aggravated’ – that is to say, deemed more serious – because of the way in which it’s alleged to have been committed, for example, opening a lockfast or secure place, theft by housebreaking or housebreaking with intent to steal.

Depending on factors such as the number of charges and the value of the property said to have been stolen, penalties for charges of theft can range from fines up to, for the most serious examples, imprisonment. Further, for charges of theft of a motor vehicle, there is the additional potential penalty of disqualification from driving.

How can we help?

You can rely on us to identify the right questions and provide you with the right answers, for example:

  • Is there any corroboration or other evidence to support the owner’s account of which item or items are alleged to have been stolen?
  • Is there any reasonable basis to dispute the owner’s position that the property was taken without consent? For example, is there any evidence that the owner, in fact, gave you the property or authorised you to use it?
  • If the case against you is that the owner was deprived of his property only temporarily, but not permanently, we can advise you where you stand.


Robbery is the crime of stealing another person’s property by violence or intimidation.

Given the alleged violence or threat of violence implicit in a charge of robbery, courts treat such cases seriously. It’s, therefore, vital that you enlist the help of solicitors who will vigorously fight your corner to secure the best possible result.

How can we help?

As with every case, we’re committed to identifying the right questions and providing the right answers, for example:

  • Is the prosecution able to meet the legal test of more than piece of evidence to corroborate the identity of the alleged culprit?
  • Does the alleged violence precede, or occur at the same time as, the taking of the property? If not – and the violence is alleged to take place after the taking of any property –  then the prosecution may only be able to prove the less serious crime of theft.
  • Is the evidence more consistent with the less serious charge of theft by snatching, rather than robbery? For example, if the force used to ‘snatch’ an item from a person was very minor and not used to overcome the other person’s wishes, then there may be an argument that the court should only convict of theft, not robbery.


Fraud is any act of deception committed to obtain a definite practical result or outcome, such as some sort of gain to the accused or some sort of loss or harm to the alleged victim. In practical terms, this wide legal test means that fraud charges are typically brought to cover a wide range of instances where a person is alleged to have made a dishonest and false pretence, to bring about some practical result or benefit.

Fraud cases are, therefore, often technical, complex and serious; and with significant potential penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment, it makes sense to protect your future by obtaining early expert advice.

How can we help?

Our specialist team provides decades of combined experience in successfully defending every type of fraud charge likely to come before the criminal courts, including:

  • Benefits Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud     
  • Business fraud
  • HMRC & Customs investigations/VAT fraud
  • Fraudulent Trading
  • Online, internet & computer fraud
  • Pyramid scheme (‘Ponzi’) fraud
  • ‘Boiler Room’ Fraud
  • Insurance & pension fraud
  • FSA investigations

From our wealth of experience, you can count on us to identify the right questions and provide you with the right answers.

  • For example, it’s not enough in a fraud charge for the prosecution simply to prove that the accused’s statement or representation was false or wrong. Rather, can the prosecution cross the legal hurdle of showing that the accused knew that the representation was false at the time he made it, as opposed to the accused simply having been mistaken or reckless in what he did or said, or genuinely having genuinely believed it was true?
  • Even if there is evidence that the accused knew what he said or did was false, can the prosecution meet the legal test of showing a causal link between the accused’s false pretence and the alleged result or benefit
  • In those cases alleging non-payment for goods or services – take the simple example of a taxi hire – can the prosecution prove that the accused had no intention of paying from the outset, as opposed to there being some good reason for non-payment, such as a legitimate dispute over the nature or cost of the service provided, for example, if there is reasonable evidence to suggest that a taxi route was unduly long or a taxi fare was unduly high.


Embezzlement is the dishonest appropriation of money or goods by a person who has been entrusted to hold those items on behalf of another person to whom he owes a duty to account, and on whose behalf he has been responsible for dealing with the money or goods.

Again, therefore, like many other charges of dishonesty, embezzlement cases can be complicated.  For example, using funds held in trust for unauthorised, personal purposes – even if the money is later replaced  –  can leave a person open to a charge of embezzlement. Further, anyone convicted of such a breaches of trust can face severe penalties.

How can we help?

You can count on us to identify the right questions and provide you with the right answers.

  • For example, can the prosecution prove that you were in permitted possession of another’s money or property?
  • Even if so, can it be shown that you were in a position of trust with an obligation to account?
  • If money or property was appropriated to your own use, can it be shown that this was unauthorised and dishonest, as opposed to due to some genuine error or misunderstanding?


Reset is the crime of possessing property knowingly acquired by theft – or by robbery, fraud or embezzlement –  and intending to retain it. Reset can also be committed by being privy to or involved in the retention or keeping of property, for example, helping someone else hide property which you know to be stolen.

How can we help?

We can guide you on questions like:

  • Can the prosecution meet the legal test of proving that the property was in your possession  i.e. that you had physical or practical control of the property, such as having it in your house, or your car, or your garden shed?
  • If possession can be established, do the prosecution have enough evidence to argue that you had ‘guilty knowledge’, i.e. that you knew that the property was stolen?
  • Is there any basis to rebut or defeat the Crown’s suggestion of ‘guilty knowledge’? For example, is there evidence showing that you bought the property in good faith at a reasonable price? And that there was, therefore, no guilty knowledge on your part?
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