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Firms warned to be wary of cons

A partner at the Leeds office of BTG Forensic has warned other firms to be vigilant in the face of sophisticated ‘hustle’ style fraud or long-cons.

BTG Forensic, part of the Begbies Traynor Group, said they even apparently legitimate companies may have been set up with the purpose of defrauding suppliers.

The firm has reported seeing an increase in the type of fraud features in the BBC drama series The Hustle, with groups of professional con men targeting a specific victim in a planned swindle.

Partner at BTG Forensic Richard Pughe said: “With companies more desperate to generate sales as the recession continues to bite, the conditions are perfect for long-term fraud and these gangs are seizing the opportunity to take advantage of the unwary.” Con artists build up a relationship with a business over a number of months by paying for small orders in advance, before asking for credit against a larger order and vanishing with the goods.

Firms are advised to check new client’s records with Companies House and use their business sense.

Julie Palmer

About the author

Julie Palmer

Regional Managing Partner

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Julie is a law graduate who qualified with Price Waterhouse in 1994. Julie joined Smith & Williamson in 1997 and became a partner in 2001. With Mike Stevenson, Julie set up Middleton Partners offices in Salisbury and Southampton, both of which are now part of Begbies Traynor.

Julie is a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association and the None Administrative Receivers Association and is a Fellow of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals. Julie deals with all aspects of Corporate Recovery and turnaround work and takes all form of personal insolvency appointments.

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Insolvency Practitioners Association Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales R3: Association of Business Recovery Professionals ICAEW Business Advice Service Turnaround Management Association ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) ICAS | The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland