Investment Fraud banner


Investment Fraud

Investment fraud can be carried out by agents, brokers and other parties and commonly takes place over the Internet. It is often targeted behaviour and encourages the investor to part with their savings and or invest in a non-existent product.

Common investment products include investing in a company, a property development or an investment opportunity which offers an overtly high rate of return.

Our team of lawyers specialising in investment fraud can assist with matters such as:

  • Advance fee fraud
  • Boiler room fraud
  • Land banking fraud
  • Ponzi scheme fraud/ pyramid fraud
  • Recovery room fraud

Our lawyers will robustly defend you in any such allegations and will challenge the prosecution to ensure that the alleged victims are vigorously cross-examined in the event of a trial.

Alan Burcombe and Ravinder Khumra are Partners and heads of our fraud department and regularly deal with all types of fraud cases.

Fraud allegations can be damaging to your personal and professional reputation and seeking legal advice is the first key step.

If you have any questions and wish to speak to either Alan Burcombe or Ravinder Khumra, please contact them in our London office based in West Drayton on 01895 449 288.

Contact our solicitors specialising in investment fraud in West Drayton and St Albans

Contact us today in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or email us at

Our expertise in investment fraud

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is a scheme where fraudsters request victims to pay an upfront fee or advance payment for a promised service, financial gain, or product that never materialises.

Common examples include lottery scams, inheritance claims, and fake investment opportunities.

Perpetrators typically use various methods, including emails, phone calls, or letters, to target unsuspecting individuals, often portraying themselves as legitimate organisations or government agencies.

Once victims send the requested fee, the fraudsters vanish, leaving the victims in financial distress.

Boiler room fraud

This fraud features the purchase of shares in a company and the victims are often persuaded to engage in purchasing shares in a non-existent company or the whole company is sold to the victims for an inflated price greater than its true market value.

Fraudsters often use high-pressure sales tactics, often via phone calls or emails, to promote non-existent or overvalued stocks, shares, or other investment opportunities.

These illicit operations are typically conducted from unregulated "boiler rooms," hence the name, to deceive potential investors.

Victims are convinced to buy into these fraudulent schemes, only to later discover that their investments are worthless or never existed.

Land Banking Fraud

This fraud is executed in a similar way to a boiler room fraud. Investors are deceived into believing they are investing in land (often in remote or undeveloped areas), which is portrayed as the deal of the century where the land is said to significantly increase in value.

However, the reality is very different, the land often has no potential investment value, will never result in planning approval, or may not even exist.

Victims invest substantial sums of money, believing they are making a wise investment, only to discover that their funds are lost, and the promised returns never materialise.

Ponzi Scheme Fraud/Pyramid Fraud

Ponzi scheme fraud, also known as pyramid fraud, is a fraudulent investment scheme where individuals are promised high returns on their investments, often through the recruitment of new investors.

Instead of generating legitimate profits, earlier investors are paid with the contributions of new participants, creating a deceptive appearance of profitability.

As the scheme relies on a constant influx of new funds, it eventually collapses when it becomes unsustainable, leaving many investors with significant losses.

These fraudulent schemes are illegal in the UK, and authorities, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), work to detect and prosecute those involved in such scams to protect consumers.

Recovery Room fraud

Recovery room fraud involves schemes where fraudsters target individuals who have previously fallen victim to investment scams.

These fraudsters pose as legitimate entities, promising to recover lost funds for an upfront fee. However, once the fee is paid, they vanish, leaving victims with further financial losses.

Investment Fraud FAQs

Is misleading investors a crime?

Yes, misleading investors can constitute a crime. It falls under the umbrella of financial fraud and is subject to various laws and regulations.

Activities such as providing false information, misrepresenting investment opportunities, or failing to disclose material facts to investors with the intent to deceive can lead to criminal charges.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other regulatory bodies in the UK actively monitor and enforce laws related to investor protection and market integrity.

Those found guilty of misleading investors may face criminal charges, penalties, fines, and imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence.

What are the punishments for investment fraud?

Punishments for investment fraud can vary depending on the severity of the investment fraud committed and whether it's prosecuted as a criminal or civil matter.

Criminal penalties can include lengthy prison sentences, typically ranging from a few years to over a decade, along with substantial fines. Additionally, convicted individuals may be subject to asset forfeiture, where ill-gotten gains are seized.

In civil cases, penalties may involve repayment of defrauded funds, financial penalties, and injunctions to prevent further fraudulent activities. The specific punishment often depends on factors like the scale of the fraud, the number of victims, and the level of harm caused.

What should I do if I am accused of investment fraud?

If you're accused of investment fraud, it's crucial to take immediate steps to build a defence against the claims:

  • Consult a solicitor: Seek legal advice from an experienced defence solicitor specialising in financial crimes.
  • Gather documents: Collect all relevant documents and records related to the investment in question.
  • Stay silent: Avoid discussing the case with anyone except your solicitor to prevent potential self-incrimination.
  • Cooperate with your solicitor: Share all information with your solicitor to help build a robust defence strategy.
  • Know your rights: Familiarise yourself with your legal rights and responsibilities during the legal process.
  • Prepare for legal proceedings: Be ready for court appearances and follow your solicitor’s advice closely.
  • Consider settlement: Discuss potential settlement options with your solicitor, if applicable.
  • Maintain a low profile: Minimise public statements or actions that could harm your defence.
  • Adhere to legal orders: Comply with any court orders, including asset freezing or disclosure requirements.
  • Preserve evidence: Preserve any evidence that could support your defence.

Ultimately, securing skilled legal representation is crucial when facing investment fraud accusations, as it can greatly influence the outcome of your case.

Contact our specialist fraud lawyers in West Drayton and St Albans

Contact us today in London (West Drayton) on 01895 449288 or in Hertfordshire (St Albans) on 01727 840900 or email us at