Head of Financial Crime, Partner
Manraj specialises in compliance, regulatory investigations and enforcement, civil fraud (including tax litigation), white collar and business crime. Prior to joining Rosenblatt, he was the UK Head of Corporate Crime Legal at KPMG LLP having formerly practiced at reputable law firms in London.
Manraj has acted for individuals and companies in some of the most prominent investigations and proceedings brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, Financial Conduct Authority, HM Revenue and Customs, National Crime Agency, Serious Fraud Office, and the US Department of Justice.
Manraj is renowned for his strategic thinking and he is focused on what client’s want to achieve. His advice is highly sought after by high net worth individuals, professionals, and corporate clients who want the best outcome as efficiently as possible. Manraj’s work is often multi-jurisdictional which involves working with a variety of government agencies and professionals such as forensic accountants, foreign lawyers, technology, tax, and other experts.
Qualifications and professional memberships
- Solicitor, England, and Wales
- Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist (CFPAB)
- Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA)
- Member of the Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association (POCLA)
- Global bribery and corruption risk assessment and compliance programme for an international bank.
- Global financial crime risk assessment and compliance programme for a business specialising in sustainable energy.
- Anti-money laundering risk assessment and compliance programme for a prestigious luxury jewellery retailer.
- Risk of ‘associated persons’ facilitating tax evasion assessment and compliance programme undertaken on behalf of a global electronics wholesaler and a global watch and jewellery business.
- Evaluation of a large European supermarket’s chains compliance risk assessment methodology per UK bribery and corruption and money laundering laws.
- European bribery and corruption risk assessment and compliance programme for a large chocolatier.
- Ground up review and re-working of financial crime systems for a payment services firm; including enterprise wide risk assessment, policy review, system design and implementation.
- Group wide financial crime compliance policy review and governance design for a major global bank.
- Advice and support provided to numerous businesses in the alcohol and tobacco sector with applications to HM Revenue and Customs to hold and transport duty suspended goods and applications for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS).
Investigations & Disputes
- Representing a banking professional alleged to have manipulated the LIBOR. Following responses to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Preliminary Investigation Report and Section 2 interviews with the Serious Fraud Office the client was refused charge.
- Conducting an internal investigation into post integration issues for a multi-national travel company in sensitive jurisdictions in relation to bribery and money laundering issues. All issues were successfully remediated with no further action being taken by the authorities.
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a global condiments’ business into a senior employee who was diverting funds from the business using fraudulent invoices. The employee was dismissed for gross misconduct and the evidence gathered during the investigation resulted in the employee being criminally prosecuted.
- Representing a large oil company to investigate corrupt payments received by an employee. The investigation involved acquiring data and evidence from several jurisdictions. Following the investigation, our findings were submitted to the authorities.
- Conducting an internal investigation on behalf of a US company and its subsidiary in the UK into an employee who conspired with the UK subsidiary’s suppliers and customers to perpetrate MTIC VAT fraud causing significant losses to the clients. Also represented the UK company in High Court claims against its customers based in Ireland and Denmark suspected to have been complicit in the MTIC VAT fraud causing losses to the clients.
- Strategic advisor to a corporate accused of bribery and corruption by the Serious Fraud Office.
- Representing members of a large political party in relation to allegations of corruption, money laundering and accounting irregularities. Following a lengthy investigation, the members of the political party were refused charge.
- Representing a client alleged to have been responsible for leading MTIC VAT fraud which caused losses exceeding £56 million to the revenue. The client was convicted for conspiracy to defraud the revenue and money laundering following a trial in his absence. The convictions were quashed in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division on the basis that the trial in the defendant’s absence was unfair and the prosecution used inadmissible evidence during the trial.
- Represented the director a business accused of missing trader intra community (MTIC) VAT fraud with estimated losses to the revenue exceeding £20 million. The prosecution dropped all criminal charges against the client during trial.
- Representing the director of a business accused of duty evasion in the sum of £1.9 million on alcoholic products. Following successful pre-charge submissions to HM Revenue and Customs and the Crown Prosecution Service, the client was refused charge.
- Leading a multi-disciplinary team in developing the process of and undertaking consequential loss assessments and determinations for a national bank in relation to high value and complex claims arising from Interest Rate Hedging Products linked with LIBOR under section 166 FSMA 2000. The team was recognised for being most effective in terms of quantity and quality and resulted in the bank meeting the targets set by the Financial Conduct Authority as part of the s166 review.
- Successfully coordinated and obtained freezing injunctions in Hong Kong, Singapore and Denmark against multiple businesses and individuals alleged to have defrauded creditors out of millions of pounds.
- Representing a high profile jewellery retailer against HM Revenue and Customs allegations of money laundering breaches. Ensured there were no criminal charges and the financial fines against the company were reduced by approximately 70% following successful submissions made to HM Revenue and Customs AML Supervision.
- Representing a large business with bringing a professional negligence claim against a ‘Big 4’ audit and accountancy firm.
- Representing a claimant in a multi-handed high profile case where judicial review proceedings led to the quashing of illegal search warrants obtained by HM Revenue and Customs.
- Successfully represented a company in recovering its input tax from HM Revenue and Customs in connection with denials of input tax associated with the wholesale of electronic products which the revenue alleged traced back to fraudulent tax losses.
- Representing a large corporate in the First-tier Tax Tribunal against HM Revenue and Customs for refusing its right to deduct in input tax exceeding £4million on the basis that its transactions were connected to fraudulent tax losses.
- Representing the director of an electronics wholesale distributer in claims for wrongful trading, fraudulent trading, and transactions at an undervalue.
- Represented a client accused of being involved in a large property and mortgage fraud with estimated losses exceeding £6 million. Following successful pre-charge submissions, the Crown Prosecution Service refused charge.
- Represented a client in successfully challenging the legality of search warrants applied for and executed by the Police which resulted in the return of a large amount of cash seized from the client’s home and no further action being taken by the Police despite money laundering previously having been alleged against the client.
- Represented a high net worth individual accused of organising a car bomb attack on a former girlfriend and organising a shooting at a former business associate’s home. Following police interviews under caution, no further action was taken against the client.
- Representing a client alleged to have evaded duty and tax evasion in the region of £1.4 million on tobacco products. Following submissions of abuse of process, the prosecution offered no evidence two weeks prior to trial.
- Representing the lead defendant alleged to have committed MTIC VAT fraud involving European Union Allowances (carbon credits) with losses to the revenue exceeding £11.9 million.
- Representing the director of a carbon market investment company alleged to have been involved in 2 separate ‘boiler room scams’ involving carbon credits and rare earth metals with estimated losses to investors being over £5million.
- Representing a high-net worth individual in HM Revenue and Custom’s investigation into tax evasion with estimated losses to the revenue being in the region of £7 million. HM Revenue and Customs allege that the client perpetrated the fraud dishonestly claiming personal residence relief on properties.
- Represented a large corporate in successfully challenging HM Revenue and Custom’s tax assessments in excess of £5 million against the business for unpaid duty and VAT on alcoholic beverages.
- Successful discharge of a freezing injunction against a former director’s personal assets and his associated companies in claims brought by the liquidator of a public listed company and negotiated a favourable settlement of civil fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims against the client.
- Successfully negotiated a criminal investigation being stopped and the matter being dealt with by repaying the evaded tax through the civil Code of Practice 9 process thereby giving the client and his wife immunity from criminal prosecution.
- Representing a high net worth individual at trial facing charges of organising a physical attack on a former business associate and his daughter. The client was acquitted for the criminal offence of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm following trial.
- Successfully recovered over £500,000 from a customer who initially refused to pay for VOIP because of HM Revenue and Custom’s allegations of MTIC VAT fraud in the supply chain.
- Prior to 2012, representing HM Revenue and Customs in several of the most prominent UK tax investigations and disputes often involving fraud with losses to the revenue in hundreds of millions of pounds.