HMRC Forensic Accounting

Successfully Challenged HMRC

We were approached by a client who was under enquiry from HMRC after his accountant informed him that he would have to settle an alleged £750k debt over undeclared income.

Outcome

We reviewed the principles and assumptions that had been made by the accountant and successfully challenged them. We offered a revised report, which HMRC accepted, and we managed to reduce the final settlement to £109,000, saving our client £641k.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in the conduct of forensic accounting investigations. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us for a no-obligation quote.


Proceeds Of Crime

Successfully Challenged Proceeds Of Crime Valuation

We represented a client who was being pursued for the proceeds of crime to the value of circa £150k.

Whereas the client has plead guilty and did not deny their crime, they contested the figure.

Outcome

Through analysis of historical bank transactions, investments and property ownership we were able to conclusively demonstrate that the value of their assets was amassed long before the crime took place and we were successful in reducing the figure of benefit to £13k, thus saving our client £137k.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in the conduct of forensic accounting investigations. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us for a no-obligation quote


criminal prosecution

Assisted Client To Avoid Criminal Prosecution

We were approached by an accountant whose client had been arrested by the police at London Heathrow Airport with a sizeable quantity of cash.

They were accused of money laundering and threatened with criminal prosecution, however; our intervention was able to refute the allegation.

Outcome

The reality was that the individual had been running a cash business, and whereas they were guilty of tax evasion, they were not money laundering. Acting on their behalf, we conducted negotiations with HMRC to enter into the contractual disclosure facility. The end result was the individual had to pay tax and a penalty, as opposed to facing a lengthy criminal enquiry.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in the conduct of forensic accounting investigations. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us for a no-obligation quote.


land ownership

Assisted Client Prove Ownership of Land

We were approached by a client who was having difficulty proving that they were the UBO of land which had been registered in the name of an offshore entity.

The dispute arose after the IFA that had been advising them was convicted of money laundering and it became apparent that they had been less than transparent in their dealings with our client.

Outcome

By revisiting the original purchase and subsequent transfers of money, we were able to prove ownership and have the land transferred back into our client’s name.
In addition to preparing a court-ready report for our client, we also provided professional witness testimony in court, where Liz’s experience of as a former employee of HMRC was instrumental in the judge finding in our client’s favour.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in the conduct of forensic accounting investigations. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please contact us for a no-obligation quote.


HUMINT Case Study

The Value & Challenges Of HUMINT

Sometimes HUMINT is the only viable option for an investigation.

We are regularly engaged by a FTSE100 company to conduct discreet pre-transactional due diligence for them in countries within which it is challenging to obtain reliable information; either due to a lack of comprehensive and accessible databases, or their absence altogether.

On this occasion, our client engaged us to conduct an internal investigation after concerns had been voiced by a third party about the conduct of their local in-country agent in Baghdad, Iraq.

Outcome

Allegations had been made that the agent had helped to secure contracts on behalf of the client through the use of bribes and furthermore, that they did not conduct their personal affairs in a manner that would be acceptable to the client’s corporate values.

Prior to accepting the assignment, we performed a source mapping estimate to determine whether we would be able to secure sufficient reliable and trustworthy sources to conduct the task. As it transpired, we were able to secure several highly credible sources, including a government minister, who knew the Subject and who would be willing to comment.

The cultural challenges of operating in Iraq are not often apparent, however; one truism, is that you must be wary of personal agendas/vendettas when seeking an individual’s opinion on someone else. As a result, we took care to consider each source’s tribal/familial loyalties and assign a weighting for their reliability. We also ensured that we cross-referenced key information wherever possible.

Our investigation gathered a body of evidence to confirm beyond doubt that the agent had indeed been conducting himself in a manner that did not align with our client’s corporate values. Consequently, the client severed all ties with the agent.

The information we provided was invaluable to our client as it enabled them to remove a serious threat to both their reputation and in-country operations.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

HUMINT is an excellent means of gathering information and it can be used in isolation, or to compliment the findings of OSINT. Whereas many firms can deliver the latter, few have the requisite experience to conduct a sensitive or complex HUMINT investigation.

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in the provision of HUMINT. We have taken years to develop and nurture an expansive and comprehensive network of trusted sources.

Please contact us with any queries regarding our covert and investigative surveillance service.


Global People Tracing

Global People Tracing

We were engaged by a multinational legal firm to assist with global people tracing those wanted in connection with a multi-billion Euro fraud against the German government.

The information provided for each individual was minimal, dated back several years and involved traces in: Australia, Dubai, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and the UK. The turnaround time was incredibly tight, as the case had been running for a number of years and there was a fast expiring deadline for serving the Subjects.

Outcome

We commenced our search using OSINT (open source intelligence), however; whereas this provided partial indicators for some of the Subjects, we had to progress almost immediately with the conduct of HUMINT (human source intelligence) enquiries and more traditional techniques such as: visiting last known addresses, known acquaintances and employers. One individual in particular had gone to great lengths to conceal his whereabouts, however; we knew he stored his private plane collection at an airport in the Middle East and we were eventually able to track him through this lead..

We successfully traced every subject within time and added another very impressed client to our personal contacts.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

At Matrix we understand the difference between intelligence and evidence required for use in a Court of Law and have extensive knowledge of the legal system, enforcement regimes and cultural practices within those jurisdictions most commonly associated with hidden assets.

Please contact us directly for more information regarding our cross-border investigations, global people tracing capabilities and bespoke services.


Fraud Investigation

Fraud Investigation

We were engaged by a New York based lawyer to assist with a fraud investigation against a Russian Citizen. The fraud was committed in America and it was believed the suspect subsequently moved to the UK.

The nature of the fraud investigation was very niche and our sole task was to obtain a copy of the Subject’s signature, so that our client could verify whether or not it matched the signature on a document in their possession.

Outcome

We traced the individual to the UK, however; there was no lead which could plausibly take us towards obtaining a copy of their signature. We therefore switched focus and conducted enquiries in Russia. We briefed a trusted source with whom we work and we discussed the methods by which a copy of the Subject’s signature could legitimately be obtained through publicly accessible documentation.

Our source conducted multiple local enquiries in Moscow and was able to secure a copy of the Subject’s signature on official documentation. Comparative analysis verified that the signature was indeed the same and their enabled our client to proceed with a prosecution against them.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence are regularly engaged by legal firms, litigation funders and HNWs to undertake risk analysis, due diligence and pre-litigation profiling to ascertain an individual’s: estimated wealth, background, corporate affiliations and discover any reputational red flags. Experts in this field, with over a decade’s experience, we are perfectly placed to advise and assist with high-end disputes and litigation.


KYC Checks

KYC And Red Flag Reports On UK Borrowers

Matrix Intelligence are regularly tasked by a UK-based Bridging Finance Company to conduct bespoke pre-transactional KYC checks / Red Flag Reports on potential borrowers.

To satisfy our Client’s requirements, we conduct Open Source research to ascertain the profile of the Borrowers and their affiliated companies; with particular focus on potential or active litigation (both criminal and civil). Our aim in doing so is to identify any Red Flags, authenticate provided documentation and inform our Client of any risks they may be facing.

The scope of our report includes:

  • Passport and ID Verification (including global ID and address confirmation).
  • Confirmation of property ownership.
  • Compliance and financial checks.
  • Civil litigation, criminal & court searches.
  • Corporate affiliations & red flags.
  • International fraud / sanctions.
  • Email verification & fraud check.
  • Risk profiling/adverse media search.
  • Searches are conducted in the UK & any other specified jurisdictions.

Outcome

Our reports enable our Client to make informed decisions on potential borrowers and mitigate their exposure to potential reputational damage and financial losses at a very early stage.

Working with Matrix Intelligence

Matrix Intelligence undertake risk analysis, KYC and pre-transactional Due Diligence investigations prior to acquisitions, joint ventures or investments. Ideally, we are engaged at an early stage before legal costs and other professional fees are incurred; as this will mitigate the impact if adverse legal, financial or operational issues come to light.

We provide detailed and cost-effective reports, prepared by a team of specialists, to enable our clients to make informed and timely commercial decisions.

To discuss our KYC / Red Flag Report checks, please contact our London office on +44 (0) 203 873 1089, send us an email to info@matrix-intelligence.com or visit our website at www.matrix-intelligence.com.


Nigeria Asset Tracing

Nigeria, U.K. & U.S Asset Tracing

We were tasked to conduct asset tracing in Nigeria on an individual who, amongst other things, had been involved in an arms scandal and had run up several million pounds worth of debts.

The IP we were working for had limited funds to conduct an investigation, so we worked with them to agree a prioritised and sequenced approach to our investigation, so that it could be broken down into affordable phases.

Outcome

Our preliminary scoping identified three jurisdictions of interest; Nigeria, the U.K and the U.S. We identified links to two properties and over twenty potential corporate affiliations in Nigeria, ten corporate affiliations in the U.K. and a link to a property in the U.S. We also identified multiple links to properties in his daughter’s names, but the IP did not have the authority to pursue these.

Based on the cost of conducting investigations in each country and the ease of enforceability, we first focused on the property in the U.S. and were able to prove sole ownership of a USD $1.4m property in Washington DC. Having identified sufficient funds to ensure that the IP would recover their costs, we were then given the green light to commence investigations in Nigeria.

Although the ownership of the two linked properties proved to be opaque and many of the linked companies were insolvent, we did identify majority ownership of one company which was trading profitably and had assets of approximately USD $3m.

Asset Tracing in Nigeria with Matrix Intelligence

Prior to informing your legal team, the police and/or regulatory authorities, it is often beneficial to first understand what exactly you are dealing with. You can then make an informed decision as to how best to proceed.

Matrix Intelligence are specialists in conducting sensitive and discreet Asset Tracing, learn more about our service here. Please contact us with any further queries.