Richard Beynon

Call: 1990

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    An excellent set with massive strength in fraud and serious crime.

    Legal 500, 2022
    Richard Beynon

    Personal profile

    Richard Beynon has a wide experience of criminal litigation, specialising over a number of years in the prosecution of large and complex cases involving Crime, Serious & Organised Crime and Business Crime & Fraud (including tax and duty evasion along with ancillary confiscation proceedings following conviction).

    Both as leader and junior, he has prosecuted a number of large multi-handed cases where investigations have been measured in years.

    He has a keen interest in equally complicated prosecutions for the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. A conscientious advocate with a hard-working approach he has the ability to handle vast amounts of material, used and unused alike. He serves on the CPS Advocate Panel at the highest level and also serves on the Regulatory Panel.

    Fraud

    Richard has defended and prosecuted many Fraud cases.

    Featured cases

    • Op Spirit (2013–2017) – Successfully prosecuted for the CPS Complex Casework. A large number of vulnerable victims were significantly overcharged for necessary work, resulting in charges of cheating the Revenue of VAT and Corporation Tax, fraud and money laundering.
    • Op Youthful (2013–2015) – Led by a QC. CPS Complex Casework Unit. Immigration fraud and money laundering by directors. Wholesale abuse of sponsorship licence scheme.
    • Op Vex (2008–2013) – Instructed for the prosecution as leading disclosure counsel. £80m MTIC fraud. 11 defendants spread over two trials. No abuse of process applications, otherwise common in such cases. Role involved liaison with the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) and Scottish Law enforcement authorities.
    • Op Baygood (2011–2013) – Instructed as leading prosecution junior. Eight defendants were involved. Large-scale manufacture of counterfeit vodka. [Press Report]
    • Jersey Financial Crimes Unit (2013–2014) – Instructed by AG of Jersey to assist States of Jersey FCU in a suspected fraud. This required extensive liaison with Jersey Financial Services Commission.
    • Ops Domic and Dedans (2007 –2012) – Instructed as led prosecution junior. Ten defendants were accused of cheating the Revenue of £16m in the manufacture of counterfeit vodka. The confiscation hearing lasted three weeks.
    • Op Bruise and Beckon (2007–2010) – Instructed as led prosecution junior in two trials (each with 12 defendants) of duty evasion/money laundering and numerous linked cases including Op Hosel (2009–2012) (money laundering with 17 files of material). Advised strategically across the range of linked prosecutions and dealt with disclosure.
    • Op Reactive (2006–2009 and 2013) – Instructed as led prosecution junior in a four-defendant hydrocarbon oils fraud. As junior alone, later prosecuted a further defendant arrested under European Arrest Warrant. Responsibilities throughout included disclosure.

    Proceeds of Crime and Confiscation

    Richard has extensive experience of prosecuting under POCA and its predecessors across a broad and diverse spectrum of offences.

    Featured cases

    • Environment Agency (2016 and on-going) – Advising the Environment Agency in a POCA investigation against a director with complicated background/corporate structure.
    • Fraud on the benefits system (e.g. involving both CJA 1988 and POCA).
    • Ticket Touting (test case for Op Podium).
    • Insolvency offences.
    • Immigration offences e.g. Operation Irate (2012 – 2014) conspiracy involving organised crime group facilitating the entry of Ukrainian Nationals by sea and air.

    Serious & Organised Crime

    Many fraud/revenue prosecutions have involved organised crime groups (OCG).

    Featured cases

    • Op Heifer 1–4 (2012–2015) – Instructed as leading prosecution junior for the CPS Organised Crime Division. Ten defendants over a number of cases. Six in the main trial. NCA investigation of Serious and Organised Crime Group. Controlled Drugs. Complex disclosure related issues.
    • Op Raison (2014) – CPS Organised Crime Division. Conspiracy to import opium from Iran.
    • Op Diamondback (2012–2013) – Instructed as leading prosecution junior. Six defendants and over 40 offences committed over a three-month period. One of the largest metal theft cases. [Press Report]
    • Op Dervish (2009) – Prosecuted seven defendants. Deployment of undercover police in Class A drugs test purchase operation.

    Environment

    Richard has worked on behalf of the Environment Agency.

    Featured cases

    • Op Durable (2017) – Instructed as junior and disclosure counsel. Environment Agency prosecution of company and directors for the unlawful treatment and handling of 60k tonnes of hazardous waste: experts called on whether the material was a product or waste. Described as the biggest ever hazardous waste raid conducted in the United Kingdom. This was a five-year investigation involving numerous agencies and vast amounts of evidential material.
    • R v Bairstow (2016) – An Environment Agency prosecution which included a breach of an ASBO previously obtained by the Local Authority against a person dubbed by the press as the UK’s worst fly tipper. [Press Report]
    • R v Millen (2016–2017) – Unlawful deposit of c.39,500 tonnes of controlled waste. [Press Report]
    • Op Sword (2016) – Prosecuted directors for environmental offences arising out of the deposit, treatment and storage of waste at several sites in and around Swindon where there were serious fires. One fire closed the main railway line nearby; another lasting 57 days had a significant impact on residents and businesses. [Press Report]

    Health & Safety

    Featured cases

    • Op Durable (2017) – Instructed as junior and disclosure counsel. Environment Agency prosecution of company and directors for the unlawful treatment and handling of 60k tonnes of hazardous waste: experts called on whether the material was a product or waste. Described as the biggest ever hazardous waste raid conducted in the United Kingdom. This was a five-year investigation involving numerous agencies and vast of amounts of evidential material.
    • R v Bairstow (2016) – An Environment Agency prosecution which included a breach of an ASBO previously obtained by the Local Authority against a person dubbed by the press as the UK’s worst fly tipper. [Press Report]
    • R v Millen (2016–2017) – Unlawful deposit of c.39,500 tonnes of controlled waste. [Press Report]
    • Op Sword (2016) – Prosecuted directors for environmental offences arising out of the deposit, treatment and storage of waste at several sites in and around Swindon where there were serious fires. One fire closed the main railway line nearby; another lasting 57 days had a significant impact on residents and businesses. [Press Report]

    Education

    • LLB (Hons)

    Professional appointments

    • CPS Panel Advocate (General Crime) (Grade 4, highest level)
    • CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (Fraud and Serious Crime)
    • CPS Specialist Panel Advocate (POCA)
    • Regulatory Panel (HSE/ORR/EA) (A Panel) (2012)
    • SFO (A Panel) (2013–2017)

    Memberships

    • South Eastern Circuit
    • CBA
    • HSLA

    Publications

    • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000; Corporate Liability; Interlocutory Hearings; Prosecution Appeals; Non-Jury Trials in Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure, LexisNexis, 2004