Bell Yard was hired by a private, regulated funds management company to advise on communications following a suspicion of fraud by one of its Directors.
Initially the plan was to contain any information about the problem as far as possible whilst PwC conducted a full investigation into the extent and impact of the fraud. However client scripts were prepared in case of enquiries about why the company had applied for freezing orders to protect its funds and as to the whereabouts of the perpetrator. We also prepared for news of any arrest given the police involvement.
In the event, a local media enquiry about a possible 8 figure fraud at the company and the local financial regulator and police confirming their investigations, triggered the need for a public response and careful client communications.
Bell Yard continued to advise on communications in support of each new development in the story – the local paper following this issue reported when the company sought to recover funds from the Director concerned, when the family confirmed his disappearance, when the police eventually arrested him and when his case finally came to trial. Media responses and investor client scripts were required on each occasion.
In the end the fraudster was sentenced to over 10 years in prison for theft and fraud totalling around £5.5m with local papers and the local BBC reporting the news but the company’s reputation was upheld.