It would be fair to say that there are some crimes that are regarded as being more serious or more dislikeable than others. This is definitely the case when it comes to different types of fraud. All types of fraud are bad and there is always a victim that loses out but when the victim of a fraud is a charity group, it is understandable that people will be strongly opposed to the person that has committed the crime.
This is the situation at the moment with police calling for assistance in hunting down a man from Cumbria who conned national charities out of £80,000. Stephen Welch is a 53 year old man from Maryport who is currently wanted in relation to a number of fraudulent offences which were carried out between May and September of 2011. The police force in Cumbria are currently investigating two separate incidents where an offender made a claim for charity grants but then utilised the money for their own gain.
High Value Fraud is Appealing to Fraudsters
The police released a statement, saying; “This is a high value fraud incident which we would like to find out who is responsible. To steal or defraud from a charity is saddening and we would like to speak to Mr Welch at the first possible opportunity in connection with this incident. If anyone knows of his whereabouts or has any information that could assist our investigation, please get in touch. Also I would like to appeal directly to Mr Welch, if you hear or see this appeal please contact police.”
This sort of activity can have a really negative impact on a number of charities. First of all, the fact that there is money that should have gone to charities being used in a different way means that charities miss out. There is also the potential outcome of people deciding against supporting charity organisations or groups in the future if they are unsure of how their cash is going to be used. Some people will hear this story and double their efforts to support a local charity but there will be people who fear that any money they provide will not reach its intended purpose, which means that a broad range of charities may end up missing out. This is clearly something that no one wants to happen so it is important that this sort of crime gets stamped out.
This means that there will inevitably be calls for harsh punishment to be handed out to anyone found guilty of carrying out this style of crime. If you are looking to put people off of the idea of committing a crime, you have to be really hard on the people who are caught. It is fair to say that POCA is of great benefit because it makes people think that they will not be in a position to reap the rewards of any criminal activity they undertake. This can lessen the likelihood of someone carrying out this style of act, so it is good to see POCA hearings happening on a more regular basis.
However, there will also be people who are keen for people that carry out this sort of crime to be appropriately punished with respect to the jail term that they receive. It may be that a period of time in jail will act as a major deterrent for this style of crime.
Pressure is Sometimes Applied when it comes to Sentencing
Due to the nature of this style of crime, defrauding a charity, it is likely that there will be pressure applied to the sentence that would be imposed on anyone found guilty. This is where the role of the defence solicitor becomes all important. There is clearly a need for the defence solicitor to ensure that any punishment handed out is in line with the actual crime, and not about the emotion involved with the case. This is the sort of thing that can sway people in the final decision but a reliable and effective defence solicitor will be able to provide a case that is solely based on what actually occurred.
When it comes to finding a reliable and effective defence solicitor, there is no getting away from the importance of finding an experienced solicitor. It is not just about finding a solicitor that can help the defendant to be found not guilty; quite often it is about ensuring fairness occurs. A good solicitor will ensure that their client is represented fairly and receives a fair trial. Carrying out a fraudulent activity that impacts on a charity is a crime that will leave many people wanting a serious level of punishment handed out, but a good standard of solicitor will make sure that everyone gets a chance of fairness.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.