Over £60 million missing from client account
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has confirmed it has arrested seven unnamed individuals and carried out searches across nine sites, as it launched an investigation into the collapse of Axiom Ince.
Over 80 SFO investigators, supported by Met Police Officers, conducted a series of early morning raids across locations in the South East of England, according to a statement issued yesterday.
Legal Cheek previously reported that the Axiom Ince was shut down in October by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), not long after it emerged that over £60 million had gone missing from the firm’s client account.
It has been widely reported that the client money had been used to acquire law firms Ince and Plexus as well as a number of properties.
The SFO said it will “examine how funds passed from the firm’s client accounts with Barclays to the State Bank of India to fund these purchases”.
Nick Ephgrave QPM, director of the SFO, said:
“There are a number of significant questions that need to be answered: clients from this law firm are missing many millions of pounds and more than 1,400 of its staff have lost their jobs. The impact on those affected is extremely serious. This morning [14 November], we have used our specialist powers to obtain important information that will help us get to the bottom of what happened.”