SFO calls for English fraud review

Low issued his warning this week at an ICAS fraud conference in Edinburgh, and said his point would become increasingly significant as new technology brought new opportunities for fraudsters.

His warning was based on the differences between Scottish and English law.Scottish law contains the offence of ‘bringing about a definite practical result by means of a false pretence’ but in England and Wales prosecutors are forced to pit suspected crime against existing statues, all written before the new economy existed.

Low said: ‘The SFO is arguing strenuously for a review of English law. A generalised offence of fraud based on deception would, clearly, cover activity in the new economy, even if that particularly activity could not yet be predicted.’

Low also warned of the dangers of digital signatures, which became legal last year. ‘It will not be long before a digital signature is misused,’ he said.


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