Mark Graffius and Merry van Woodenberg Defend in Complex International Film Industry Fraud Case at Southwark Crown Court
Mark Graffius and Merry van Woodenberg represented a man charged with involvement in a conspiracy to defraud various film production equipment companies. The man was alleged to have set up a company and various bank accounts, that were then used as vehicles to assist in a cross-jurisdictional conspiracy involving the large-scale theft of film production equipment. The frauds, amounting to £4 million, took place in eight countries, including America, South Africa and Japan.
The group’s modus operandi was to set up a fake film-production company and hire equipment (usually costing hundreds of thousands of pounds), which was then stolen and never returned. The group sent couriers around the world to collect the equipment, much of which was never traced. The group utilised sophisticated forgery methods in relation to banking, insurance and ID documents, in order to create a veneer of legitimacy, such that they were able to carry out their frauds in various counties over several months.