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Here’s a preview of one of the speakers at the tenth anniversary conference of the Midlands Fraud Forum, in Birmingham on Thursday, February 23, 2017. He’s Glenn Wicks, pictured, deputy chief investigation officer, at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).
He’s due to speak after lunch at the MFF event on Operation Reacher, on how agencies can and are working together ‘to lock up the fraudsters’. It’s a criminal case that reached court that included a man who built a ‘manor house’ with the proceeds of his crime, behind the frame of a farm shed; including wood panelling and fine art.
He spoke to Professional Security at a MFF masterclass in Nottingham on insolvency, where one of the speakers, the former polceman John Thorley now a criminal investigator with the Insolvency Service based in Nottingham, who spoke on ‘company fraud and how to get away with it’, touched on the Reacher case as part of his larger talk on long firm fraud by company directors; who typically set up companies, gain credit from suppliers (typically in the building trade, but it can be with anything that’s not degradable) and go on to abuse it, on a large or small scale.
Glenn Wicks offered a warning to businesses that may fall a victim to long firm fraud. He said: “We find that there’s a big difference between salesmen and the accounts department who are forever asking questions [such as] ‘if this bent customer had credit of £10,000, why did you give them £50,000 credit?’ And the answer is, the salesmen are trying to sell the goods, and it’s the accountants who are to late to pick it up at the sharp end.” As Glenn Wicks added, companies that are fraudulently trading get liquidated after long firm frauds have been operated – perhaps for a year or more – and the bills have not been paid.
He offered advice to businesses: “So know your customers, stick to your credit rating, make sure you get paid on time, are the basic lessons in business, that may stop you getting defrauded and may stop you going bust.”
For more about the MFF annual conference, visit www.midlandsfraudforum.co.uk/MFF-conferences. Attendance includes membership of the forum for the year, including regular master classes. Other conference speakers include Chris King of Dudley Trading Standards, on ‘rogue traders’, and giving a national overview, City of London Police Commander Chris Greany, head of the economic crime directorate at the City force, the national lead on fraud.