EY is launching a team to support City firms wishing to pursue their own prosecutions for fraud and economic crime.
The FT reports the professional services firm is the latest to tap into a growing appetite to bring private prosecutions against white-collar criminals who are not being pursued by police or the Serious Fraud Office.
EY is today launching a 20-strong team, including accountants, which will work alongside law firms.
EY head of fraud investigations and disputes John Smart says: “The ability to bring a private prosecution has been around for a while but we are seeing more and more demand from some of our clients who are concerned that the police don’t have resources to prosecute fraud.”
He says cases brought by overstretched prosecutors like the SFO can often take four to six years, while a private prosecution can be much quicker.
Smart says: “There is an appetite for these cases – which are seen as a cleaner and quicker route to getting money back, as you can always file a civil claim after bringing a criminal case.”
Anyone can bring a private prosecution but they have been brought mainly by wealthy individuals and companies because legal aid is not available.