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we have succeeded for our clients in every court in the land

Crimes of Dishonesty

Our criminal defence lawyers and solicitors are recognised as being among Scotland's best criminal lawyers in the preparation, presentation and conduct of defences to charges of theft, fraud and white collar crime.

If you have been charged with a crime of dishonesty, or think you may be, our top-rated criminal defence lawyers can help.

Crimes of dishonesty are offenses which involve the taking or appropriation of property without the consent of the owner in the knowledge that the accused has no right to the property in question.

These offences include:


In Scotland, theft is defined as ‘the taking or appropriating the property of another without the true owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of that property.’ While this may seem like a fairly black and white definition, in reality it has many shades of grey. Theft can also be ‘aggravated’, that is to say the gravity of the offence can be worsened by the addition of some other factor such as housebreaking.

It is possible to commit theft by finding property and neglecting to return it – even if you intend to return the property in question. As such, you may be charged with theft even if you are completely innocent. To find out exactly where you stand, contact us now.


Fraud is an act of deception for personal gain. Fraud takes many forms, and many fraud cases can be bewilderingly complex. Fraud is similar to theft, with the important distinction that consent to take the property (be it money or valuables) is given.

Clearly, many if not most crimes contain an element of falsehood, cheating or fraud. Fraud occurs when a person makes a pretence that they know to be false, with the intention of deceiving the victim into acting in a manner in which he would not otherwise have acted – e.g. to part with valuables as a result.

There are many different types of fraud and some are extremely complex. Often, the evidence to be considered can date back many years. If you have been accused of fraud, it’s important to swiftly enlist the help of established and recognised criminal defence lawyer.

Our fraud lawyers can advise on:

  • Business fraud
  • HMRC & Customs investigations/VAT fraud
  • Fraudulent trading
  • Online, internet & computer fraud
  • Pyramid scheme (‘Ponzi’) fraud
  • ‘Boiler Room’ Fraud
  • Insurance & pension fraud
  • FSA investigations
  • Benefits Fraud

As the authorities find and close loopholes, many professionals find themselves accused of criminal offences. The penalties for financial crime are severe and can involve substantial fines or even prison sentences. We have acted for accountants, financial professionals, solicitors and other professionals who have been charged with fraud.

If you have been charged with fraud contact us today.

Money Laundering, Bribery & Corruption and Proceeds of Crime

As well as fraud, the authorities are cracking down on other forms of financial crime and wrongdoing

Over the last decade or so, the following acts have been introduced to deal with various forms of financial crime:

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 & the Money Laundering Regulations 2007

This act provides for seizure of assets or cash either before or after criminal conviction and without any criminal conviction. 

We handle all sorts of cases.

The law in relation to money laundering and the proceeds of crime act is complex and rapidly expanding. This area of law affects businesses, professionals and private individuals alike. Money Laundering is the exchange of assets obtained illegally for ‘clean’ assets.

The courts have wide-ranging powers under these instruments and can seize or arrest property, even if it is located offshore. As well as the power to seize property, these acts can also lead to the imposition of prison sentences.

Money laundering legislation imposes regulations on certain businesses to take steps to prevent their business being used as a vehicle for the laundering of money which has been obtained illegally.

If your business is covered by the money laundering regulations, you must:

  • Assess the risk of criminals using your business to launder money
  • Take identification from your customers
  • Check the identity of the ‘beneficial owners’ of corporations and partnerships.
  • Report suspicious activity
  • Put in place systems to manage your obligations
  • Retain documents relevant to the above

If you are unsure of your obligations under the money laundering regulations or have been charged with an offence under them, Beltrami and co can help.

Online Crime, Intellectual Property Crime & Online Copyright Infringement

If you have been charged with an offence relating to copyright theft Beltrami & co can help.

Why Beltrami? The law firm that other lawyers recommend

Having acted in more than 150,000 cases in 60 years in every court in Scotland, the firm boasts a wealth of legal knowledge and expertise, particularly in the field of criminal law, employing creative legal thinkers to interpret the law and provide imaginative legal problem solving techniques.

Our team is led by Gary McAteer. Comprising 4 Solicitor Advocates, 1 Queens Counsel and 9 Solicitors along with qualified support staff, we boast unrivalled criminal defence expertise.

The Legal 500 place us in their top tier for crime, fraud and licensing law and note that we enjoy “An unrivalled reputation in Glasgow”.

We are the criminal lawyers other lawyers recommend. No matter how serious an offence you have been charged with, Beltrami and company have the skills and expertise to defend you.

Contact Beltrami & Company

Beltrami and Company offer a high quality service to all clients, whether the case is legal aided or privately funded. Clients can be assured of complete confidentiality and discretion.

Beltrami & Company are conveniently based near Glasgow city centre but operate throughout Scotland. The firm offers a 24-hour, 365-day a year service for clients in police custody.  Any calls to our offices out with normal business hours can be dealt with by an experienced solicitor.

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