Being given only 1 week to prepare for the case is a big issue. How could your attorney interview the people your aunt spoke to for financial advice and get them to testify in such a short period?
Who was the beneficiary (beneficiaries) of the trust she established in 1991?
Your attorneys definitely need to speak with all those financial advisors. That is really the biggest issue of the matter. If she did transfer the assets prior to the 7 year period then that pretty much kills the entire basis of the investigation and prosecution. That is the heart.
Depending on the statute of limitations you might also have a claim against the lawyer who reported you. That would definitely be an ethical violation in the US.
Unfortunately because of the time that passed many of the records were probably destroyed.
Part of the problem we faced was that we didn't know what sort of garbage the Crown was going to allege so couldn't properly prepare a defence. The prosecution are supposed to discuss this with defence lawyers in advance of the trial so that both sides have an opportunity to call relevant witnesses, that didn't happen. My wife and son were originally designated as defence witnesses but a former lawyer whom I later sacked gave them over to the Crown to save on the cost of bringing them over from N Ireland. This had the effect that the Crown could speak to them and we couldn't, this in itself created a us and them atmosphere which was very obvious at the trial. I gave my lawyers a list of several witnesses but not one was ever called. One such witness I discovered was on the Crown list of witness which was the next best thing but he was excused by the Crown because of claimed ill health. Another scam to deny the defence witnesses. When all was done and dusted I ended up with no witnesses at all yet the Crown had over a dozen and even brought one from the Isle of Man.
One of the tactics used by the Crown was to try and discredit me in the eyes of the jury. They went out of their way to claim that I had neglected my aunt, left her alone and destitute. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. My aunt had a sizeable income from her late husbands estate which by the way I had managed to get the bank to increase. As I lived 50 miles from her and was working full time I arranged with Social Services for a home help to call three times a week and to accompany her shopping on Fridays. I would call with her whenever I could, usually at the weekend and my eldest son then 15 would stay with her regularly. Indeed, it was on one of these visits on Sunday, 7 June 1998 that my wife and myself found my aunt dead in bed. Again, had we known that this despicable tactic was going to be used by the Crown we could have called her home helps and her GP to testify on my behalf but again this was denied to us.
You mention documents being destroyed and yes, when my aunt passed away in 1998 I arranged the house clearance and burned many old documents not realising that they were going to be needed another six years down the line. I did however keep a document intimating her intention to effect the transfer offshore. As this document was held in N Ireland I arranged for it to be faxed to my lawyers and registered as an exhibit, the original was sent over by post. When it came to the trial the prosecutor refused to allow the original to be used in evidence even though my attorney had it in court with him. The Sheriff later criticised the photocopy when addressing the jury making an issue of the fact that it was 'just a photocopy'!
I was not involved in my aunt's affairs in 1991 but I do recall my aunt calling at my house to have some documents witnessed by my mum (her sister) who was visiting us from N Ireland at the time. My problem in later years was that I did not know who had advised my aunt other than the Bank of Scotland Trustee Dept who had management of her financial affairs. She was really angry with them after their dealings in her late husband's estate. The year before she died my aunt decided that she wanted to do some improvements to her home and requested a capital advance of funds from her late husbands estate as was her right under the terms of his will but they refused to give her a single penny. Notable however that six months after my aunts death the bank sent a cheque to the Inland Revenue for £405,000 in order to 'protect their position'! You couldn't make it up if you tried.
My aunt had no children of her own but my brother and myself stayed with her regularly while growing up. It was my aunt who persuaded me and my wife and two young sons to emigrate to Scotland to be near to her in 1987. We were a young family struggling to pay a hefty mortgage at a time when interest rates were very erratic. My aunt helped me to pay this on several occasions, she also bought a car for both me and my wife. She took me and the boys on holiday to Africa on four separate occasions between 1991 and 1995. She was also very generous to my mum and my brother whom she set up in a sheep farming project back home in N Ireland. It was not entirely unexpected therefore that in 1995 my aunt indicated that she was handing over entirely to me before she got any older. In terms of what she had already told me I arranged for the portfolio to be properly located in an offshore Trust in the BVI. It was being planned even then that we would purchase a home abroad at some stage where she could stay with us. Some months later she completed the arrangements and later again in November1996 granted me Power of Attorney over her remaining affairs which allowed me to intercede on her behalf with the Bank of Scotland. She also made a new will installing me as her Executor. She invited her younger brother who had always been close to her to visit on a day that she knew that I too would be there and confided in him what she had done. He is a crucial witness, denied to me during the trial but fully on board at this moment in time. It is worthy of note that had my aunt survived a few more years these issues would not have arisen.
This entire case started out as a means whereby the Inland Revenue could set tax precedent, I discovered this following a House of Commons debate when the case was mentioned. The tax issue was so weak that the IR persuaded the Scottish prosecutor to pursue an embezzlement and fraud case against me so they could spin it into something it never was. Thus the malfeasance of public officials claim.
I welcome questions in relation to any of this as I feel the time is right to put it all into the public domain.