Recent work

 

Asset tracing and fraud: Use of evidence from parallel criminal proceedings in a civil trial

13/12/2017

Over the last year, we have assisted the victims of a multi-million dollar large-scale international fraud. Certain of the scheme’s operations were embedded in Bulgaria’s thriving business process outsourcing (BPO) ecosystem.

As part of our representation for clients, we have pursued a claim in a regional Bulgarian court (the organisers of the fraudulent scheme having transferred the registration of the relevant entity to a disused building in that location). We were pleased to obtain a very helpful intervention from the court at first instance including an order to append files containing a substantial amount of evidence generated through a criminal investigation into the fraud to the civil case. This provides rich evidential pickings for proceedings which are either already being conducted or are being contemplated in a range of international jurisdictions as well as Bulgaria.

We were unable to persuade the first instance court to exercise its discretion to order disclosure against overseas-resident financial institutions, available to it under the Bulgarian Civil Procedure Code. However, our attempts received significant sympathy from the judge. The case is now subject to appeal on this aspect and we are optimistic that we may obtain a pioneering precedent in which the court’s jurisdiction against third-party holders of evidence overseas is exercised.


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Néstor Suárez

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