L was accused with 10 others of conspiring to evade the duty payable upon alcohol. In total it was alleged that £1.8million had been evaded.
A number of defendants entered guilty pleas prior to the start of the trial. L was tried with three others, the remaining three defendants are currently awaiting trial.
The investigation was by HMRC and prosecuted by the CPS which now incorporates the RCPO.
It was alleged that each defendant had their own unique and vital role in the fraud. L, together with his fellow director E were co-directors of a logistics company which held a Bonded Movement Guarantee. It was alleged that this logistics company was used to transport and divert the alcohol loads, to create a false paper trail and to carry out ‘false runs’ pretending that alcohol was being exported from the country when in fact it remained within the UK.
As a director L was said to have played a major role in the organisation of the logistics. However, L asserted that whilst he was a director of the firm he had no knowledge of the bonded movements, and that he only dealt with general haulage.
Various allegations were made by the CPS which they claimed were supported by documentary evidence. Via a thorough analysis and examination of the evidence available we were able to demonstrate that the evidence upon which the Crown based their Prosecution was unreliable. Further, there was more than one interpretation of the events.
Tactics were key to the defence of this matter and it was not until the Closing speech that our arsenal of favourable points were revealed.
L was acquitted at Manchester Crown Court, his fellow co-director and co-defendant E was convicted.