Andrew Bird has been acting in proceedings by which a victim of wire fraud has been attempting to recover as much as possible of the €2 million that was extracted from its Swiss bank account by fraud. This first involved making an application within restraint proceedings to prevent the money being used to pay the living expenses of the defendants. Then, following the defendants’ criminal trial it involved appearing for the victim at sentence and seeking Restitution Orders against the UK banks to whom the funds had been transferred, and a further variation to the restraint orders to permit this. In the result 5 Restitution Orders were made by the Central Criminal Court requiring the banks to repay around £1.4 million to the victim.
This litigation was of interest because it concerned the rights of a victim to intervene in both the restraint and sentencing process, and was made more complex by the fact that there was an absconded defendant, and orders in personam (such as compensation) would not have been effective. Importantly, the client was saved the far more extensive costs and obligations of resort to the civil courts, although this always remained a fallback position.