Peters & Peters secures convictions in private prosecution for Inkorporate in China fraud and money laundering case
In London’s Southwark Crown Court, on 4 May 2022, two defendants were found guilty of fraud following a private prosecution brought by Peters & Peters on behalf of Inkorporate, a leading product design and manufacturing company in the drinks industry.
Inkorporate instructed Peters & Peters in September 2019 to investigate a fraud perpetrated on the company by Haoxuan ‘Danny’ Yu, one of its former employees, with a view to bringing a private prosecution against him.
During his employment, Mr Yu initiated and managed relationships with manufacturers, managed the supply chain and oversaw the production of products in China. The company subsequently found out that, in the course of his employment, Mr Yu had been receiving secret commissions and kickbacks from manufacturers which had resulted in the company paying a higher price for the products and in lost sales.
Mr Yu used the proceeds of the fraud to fund an extravagant lifestyle along with his husband Nicholas Tsiroyiannis, who assisted Mr Yu in bringing the proceeds of the fraud into the UK. Peters & Peters were therefore also instructed to investigate both Mr Yu and Mr Tsiroyiannis in relation to money laundering offences relating to the transmission and use of the money derived from the fraud.
The specialist Peters & Peters team (Peter FitzGerald, Of Counsel; and Charlotte Evans and Joseph Duggin, Associates) completed its investigation in August 2020 and brought a private prosecution against Mr Yu for fraud by abuse of position and against both Mr Yu and Mr Tsiroyiannis for money laundering offences. Instructed counsel were Stuart Biggs and Rebecca Hadgett, both of 3 Raymond Buildings; and BGP Global Services were appointed as investigators.
Summonses were issued in September 2020, and the Peters & Peters and counsel team successfully resisted both an application by the defendants for the summonses to be quashed and a request by the defendants that the case be taken over by the Crown Prosecution Service and dropped. The trial took place in April and May 2022 at Southwark Crown Court. Both defendants were found guilty by unanimous verdicts on 4 May 2022.
On 17 June 2022, Mr Yu was sentenced to two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment, and Mr Tsiroyiannis was sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months. Confiscation proceedings are ongoing for the recovery of Inkorporate’s losses from the defendants.
Peter FitzGerald of Peters & Peters said:
“After a lot of very hard work from the Inkorporate team – both P&P and counsel – and a two-week trial, the jury came back with guilty verdicts against both defendants on all counts. I am very proud of everyone on the team and delighted that justice has been done for Inkorporate, whose trust was so abused.”
Wes Pickering, the Managing Director of Inkorporate, said:
“We could not have asked for a better legal team than Peters & Peters. Their specialist knowledge, huge experience and attention to detail ensured that we achieved justice. But just as impressive was their approach to client care, which at all times was focused, considered and compassionate.”