As the nature of business blitzes across borders, whether that be business to business or business to customer, sooner or later, you might need the services of international criminal lawyers. The nature of litigation often spills over from commercial to criminal law as aspects such as money laundering and fraud raise their ugly head.
International criminal lawyers tend to specialise in cases where two legal jurisdictions operate. So you might have an issue with a supplier in a country different to your own and need to bring a prosecution against them.
For example, criminal lawyers in Spain will be well-versed with Ecuadorian and Spanish law and able to fight cases involving two legal systems.
Examples of the Work of International Criminal Lawyers
To give you a better idea of when you may need international criminal lawyers, here are some examples:
Often, clients of international lawyers have been the victim of cybercrime or have been accused of it. Right now, the ‘Cobalt Gang’ case involves an investigation into hacking where ATM money was hacked directly from machines and the funds used to purchase cryptocurrency to launder the funds.
Given the scale of the operation, four legal jurisdictions are involved as Spanish, Russian, Thailand Police together with the FBI, are bringing evidence. Imagine somehow being implicated in this investigation.
Forgery and Fraud
Two common charges brought against small businesses are forgery and fraud. Often this involves scams where businesses are accused of being a front for money laundering. Previous cases include a chain of dental clinics that were accused of being a front to launder 17.2 million euros a year.
The case against the accused peoples was thrown out thanks to international criminal lawyers.
Increasingly, with people living in different countries to their birth, extradition cases have increased. Good criminal lawyers have managed to unpick the extradition claim, effectively blocking it.
Good examples of success include where extradition reciprocity does not exist or where the accused has managed to gain nationality of where he or she lives and works.
Other cases which have been successfully blocked include where the accused has been sentenced in absentia. It is not unheard of that the extrajudicial papers filed were light on specifics and not watertight. As such, international criminal lawyers can exploit this to block the extradition on behalf of their clients.
Where tax fraud and money laundering are concerned, cases can stretch for years. Sometimes, individuals are detained and, without proper legal representation, sit in prison without trial. Good lawyers can use the law to secure release while the investigation continues.
The Emperador Case highlights a good example of this. Here, a man was accused of being involved with money laundering and tax fraud. Following the issue of an international arrest warrant, he was detained in Europe and brought to Spain.
Upon appointing lawyers, he was released while the investigation into Chinese Mafia money continues. Currently, the investigation is in its sixth year.
Another case involving Chinese Mafia money and tax fraud involves the arrest of 60 people accused of being part of a criminal conspiracy where stolen money was given to Chinese tourists who used the cash to buy luxury goods.
As the investigation proceeds, lawyers have managed to secure the release of the accused while the case progresses.
Although some cases are unwinnable, having a sentence greatly reduced can spare the client prison time and considerably reduce fines.
In the high profile Operation Troika case, thirty people were successfully prosecuted for criminal conspiracy involving the Russian Mafia and money laundering.
One of the accused was sentenced to seven years and given a 15 million euro fine. Thanks to the work of competent criminal lawyers, this was reduced to one year and seven months and the fine reduced to 26,000 euros. As the prison sentence was less than two years, the lawyers’ client never served a day inside.
Small Business and the Law
It is not rare for small business owners to be unwittingly roped into organised crime. A lucrative contract may be a front for criminal activity, and in the course of an investigation, the business owner can find charges levelled against them.
Charges of this nature can be hard to refute, and it is only with good lawyers can the accused hope to show their innocence.
At these highly stressful times, having a good legal team is invaluable.
Although not every businessman and woman is innocent, they are often pleased when sentences are reduced to under two years, which means no prison time is needed under Spanish law.
International lawyers often work with overseas clients if their reputation for success is good enough. It is not uncommon for lawyers in Spain to have clients from other European countries.
Should you find yourself in a legal mess, it is a good idea to select lawyers with a high success rate, even if they are in a different country.