Monday 9 August 2021 10:13 am

London law firms launch first global crypto fraud network

A network for crypto-related fraud has been launched by a group of law firms, including Grant Thornton, in a bid to make the UK a global centre for crypto dispute resolution, amid a rise in scams.

The ‘Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery’ (CFAAR) network has been created with the aim of becoming a “known body and ‘go-to’ point” for advice on crypto fraud investigations and asset recovery, as well as an industry voice, according to an announcement made today.

The news comes amid a rise in the number, and sophistication, of crypto-related fraud, such as those involving cryptocurrency theft, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and ransomware attacks – and a subsequent rise in the number of fraud victims.

“London has long been a pre-eminent financial and professional centre, but unfortunately it may also be turning into a centre for international financial crime”, observed former Justice of the UK Supreme Court Lawrence Collins.

“Where there is innovation,” he explained, “criminals are not far behind. The latest example is crypto fraud.”

Collins said criminal enforcement was not a sufficient remedy for the “victims of fraudsters who offer unbelievable returns in fake offerings, or who create false cryptoassets and false exchanges, and then hide the proceeds of crime through complex webs.”

The new network has been spearheaded by eight founding member law firms which include Grant Thornton, Asset Reality, Essex Court Chambers, Osborne Clarke, Rahman Ravelli, RPC, Stewarts and Twenty Essex.