Michael Brunskill advised the wife of CR (the former chief executive of JJB Sports) in a very complex fraud and money laundering inquiry (2011).
The SFO investigation was part of a long running investigation into deals that were done at JJB in 2008. The investigation also overlapped with similar inquiries by the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Services Authority.
HR was interviewed a number of times at the SFO’s offices in London. This was a sensitive case given the relationship of HR as spouse to the chief executive. There was a clear risk that questions asked during the interviews would have an impact on the case concerning CR and care had to be taken to ensure that HR’s interview was not used as a device to further investigate CR. HR’s position was therefore carefully advanced in interview and this was followed up with written representations to the SFO case controller.
After considering the information provided in interviews, together with the written representations, the SFO decided that HR should not be charged and no further action was taken.
The SFO went on to prosecute CR who was convicted of fraud at Southwark Crown Court in 2014.
Brunskill continues to advise a number of wives and partners who are caught up in money laundering inquiries as a result of their relationship with persons investigated for fraud.