Jonathan Page

Profile

Frequently instructed as a leading junior in cases of complexity and weight. His practice encompasses:

  • Fraud and Financial crime
  • Serious and Organized Crime such as murder, terrorism, rape and serious violence.
  • Regulatory and Professional discipline

Expertise

Fraud & Financial Crime

Jonathan specializes in complex fraud cases, including VAT, Excise Duty and PAYE evasion, fraud by misrepresentation/abuse of position, MTIC carousel frauds and investment frauds. He is regularly instructed as a leading junior; recently acting for a Managing Director in a six-month trial alleging a multi-million-pound tax evasion prosecuted by Trading Standards and HMRC. He was then leading junior counsel representing the Managing Director of a company producing and fitting non-compliant exhausting systems which were supplied to customers who wanted to drive their vehicles in London’s Low Emission Zone.

Because of his experience as a Chair of Accountancy Regulators’ committees (see his entry below relating to Regulatory and Professional Discipline), he has developed a unique understanding of the best working practices of accountants and company directors. As a result, he frequently represents company directors and accountants facing serious criminal charges. In the last 3 years he has represented 4 different company directors at trial, in various parts of the Country, securing acquittals for 3. Each fraud was complex, paper-heavy and high-value.

These cases are usually investigated and prosecuted by specialist fraud and e-commerce teams within the CPS, HMRC, VOSA, NCA, National Fraud Squad and Trading Standards. He is currently instructed in several complex frauds, including a Royal Mail prosecution which has more than 1,000,000 pages of served material.

Notable Cases

R vs AB – Birmingham Crown Court – Trial in 2019 (2 months). The defendant was alleged to have been part of a serious and organized crime group evading alcohol excise duty by diverting lorry loads of Echo Falls and Hardys wine. The defendant was one of 2 to be acquitted. The other 5 defendants were convicted.

R vs BM – Basildon Crown Court – Trial in 2019 (2 months). The defendant is a director of a company producing and fitting pioneering exhausting systems. Leading Junior.

R vs POH – Wood Green Crown Court – Trial in 2019 (6 months). The defendant was the managing director a biofuel producing company. Over 50,000 pages of served evidence. Leading junior. The defendant’s company was (on the one hand) entirely ethical and environmentally friendly as it produced biodiesel from recycled cooking oil. However, the defendant fell foul of the complicated excise duty taxation regulations and failed to declare enough tax for his supplies. With co-defendants, who had also failed to properly account for excise duty, this led to a 6-month trial. Although he was ultimately convicted, he received a suspended prison sentence, because of the exceptional circumstances of the case. The trial Judge described Mr Page’s submissions as “polished, persuasive and highly professional’.

R vs WM – Newcastle Crown Court – Trial in November 2018. The defendant was the director of a large heavy-engineering firm based in the North East. The case was cut-throat with a co-defendant who received an 8 ½ year sentence. WM was acquitted by order of the Judge at half-time following a successful submission of no case to answer.

R vs BH – Leicester Crown Court. A company director was charged with perverting the Course of Public Justice and fraud, following an investigation into his Umrah and Hajj travel agency. He was acquitted on the perverting charge and received a short (7 months’) sentence for the fraud.

R vs AK – Central Criminal Court. The defendant as an NHS surgeon charged with money laundering and terror-related fraud. The investigation was conducted by counter-terrorism officers (SO15) because of alleged links to a terrorist funding network. The defendant was one of only 3 defendants to be acquitted of all charges.

R vs DY (Operation Perhaps) – Birmingham Crown Court – Trial in March 2016. The chartered accountant represented by Mr Page was charged with a conspiracy to fraudulently misrepresent the financial position of a spiritualist leader.  He was the only defendant (of 11) to be acquitted. All other defendants received custodial sentences.

R vs TO (Operation Galion) – Liverpool Crown Court – Trial in September 2015. A telephone salesman alleged to have conspired to fraudulently sell advertising space in a non-existent magazine. This was a vast prosecution (VHCC) with 11 defendants, tried over 8 weeks. The Prosecution ultimately offered the defendant a deal, to plead to £2,500 of fraudulent behaviour (as opposed to over £1m). The defendant received a community order.

R vs AO Southwark Crown Court – 2015. Leading junior in confiscation proceedings following allegations of fraud and handling stolen goods. A £3.5m benefit figure sought from available assets was reduced to £700,000.

R vs KP (Operation Lift) – Birmingham Crown Court – Trial in 2015. A company director and accountant accused of being the record keeper in a massive money laundering conspiracy was acquitted following trial, notwithstanding the finding of key documents at his home address.

R vs AL (Operation Calluna) – Southwark Crown Court. A receptionist alleged to have purchased and supplied tobacco tax free using a Diplomatic privilege. Co-defendants included the deputy High Commissioner of The Gambia.

R vs AA (Operation Forbear) – Liverpool – Completed in 2014, instructed in 2011. Represented a company director in a multi-million MTIC carousel fraud conspiracy. Guilty pleas with full credit, coupled with significant time spent on bail with a tag, resulted in a short custodial sentence. VHCC.

R vs AV (Operation Ghast) – Southwark Crown Court. Represented a company director in a multi-million Carousel fraud conspiracy. PII was raised by the Crown as a result of disclosure requests made on behalf of this defendant. The Prosecution ultimately offered no evidence against this defendant. Others convicted.

R vs GP (Operation Dumpcart) – Manchester Crown Court. A freightforwarder in an MTIC and diversion fraud.  Successfully mitigated to receive a very low sentence for someone in his position.

R vs KB (Operation Euripus) – Southwark Crown Court. Represented an alleged exporter in one of the largest MTIC conspiracies ever prosecuted at that time (2012). This defendant was the only defendant acquitted after trial.

R vs AS – Southwark Crown Court – Leading junior in a money laundering allegation against the wife of a serial fraudster.  Following trial and conviction on only minor counts, the defendant was given a suspended prison sentence.

Over many years, Jonathan has represented defendants charged with the full gamut of criminal offences including homicide (murder, manslaughter, death by dangerous driving), Drugs, Sexual offences, Violence and Terrorism.

Increasingly, allegations involve large volumes of digital evidence which require detailed analysis to best present the defendant’s case. Since studying for his Ph.D, Jonathan is extremely familiar with searching, filtering and presenting digital media in a way that provides juries with assistance when understanding a defendant’s case.

Jonathan has been instructed in several complex murder cases, as led Junior counsel and has brought his energy and meticulous preparation at an early stage of the case in order to assist leading counsel.

He has recently represented defendants charged under the Terrorism Act. One such defendant was an NHS surgeon charged with money laundering and terror-related fraud. The investigation was conducted by counter-terrorism officers (SO15) because of alleged links to a terrorist funding network. The defendant was one of only 3 to be acquitted of all charges.

In 2018, Jonathan secured an acquittal for a young man with autism who was charged with several rape allegations and harassment. The defendant had confessed in interview, which was excluded at trial, following a section 76/78 PACE argument criticizing the custody sergeant’s approach during the booking-in procedure.

Notable Cases

R vs SS – Blackfriars Crown Court – trials in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The defendant was accused of importing firearms into this Country from Poland on a massive scale. Disclosure arguments led to the first trial being aborted. The second trial led a re-trial, listed in late November 2019. This was an NCA investigation and received extensive publicity. Jonathan was instructed as leading junior.

R vs NM – Birmingham Crown Court. The defendant was already serving life for offences in Liverpool, but faced another indictment alleging that he had committed other similar offences in Birmingham. The Crown accepted his plea to a few substantive counts of burglary and robbery. He received a short additional sentence.

R vs JS – Cambridge Crown Court. The defendant was one of several travelers who were alleged to have carried out a number of burglaries and robberies of high-performance motor vehicles and parking meters. He pleaded early to receive maximum credit following a number of conferences at an early stage.

R vs PH – Liverpool Crown Court. Head of a drugs ring, responsible for organising the importation of 20 tonnes of class A drugs into the UK from Spain.

R vs OD – Harrow and St Albans Crown Courts. Conspiracy to burgle domestic properties for the car keys, enabling the theft of expensive top-end cars. The defendant was said to be at the centre of the case.

R vs JR – Chester Crown Court. Illegal money lending. The principal defendant was alleged to have loaned, without a licence, hundreds of thousands of pounds over a 3-year period.

R vs SM – Croydon Crown Court – Trial and re-trial. Murder. The defendant was accused of luring the deceased to her house so that he could be executed by her new boyfriend. The new boyfriend was convicted and sentenced to 30 years. The jury rejected the Crown’s case against SM that she was a knowing participant in the killing and she was acquitted of murder and released from custody. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs HM 2014 – Lewes Crown Court. Murder prepared for trial, involving a lie-in-wait robbery that went tragically wrong. There was extensive expert evidence concerning the question of whether the victim was tortured. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs HL – Central Criminal Court – Jonathan represented a 15-year-old defendant (charged with murder), who “happy-slapped” a grandfather who had just left a mosque with his 7 year-old granddaughter. The prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs KS – Winchester Crown Court – A manslaughter within the Polish community in Southampton was alleged. The Prosecution was not, ultimately, able to prove causation and offered no evidence on this count. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs KS – Central Criminal Court – Murder and ABH. Female defendant acquitted of all counts following trial. The allegation was the result of an argument over a football going into a neighbour’s garden and the ensuing fight. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs RC – Central Criminal Court – Murder. Blind Peruvian defendant acquitted of all charges, notwithstanding his admission that he had stabbed the victim at least 50 times with a pair of scissors. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs KC – Central Criminal Court – Manslaughter, Rape x 3, Administering a noxious substance with intent to Rape. High profile case against a male nurse who was alleged to have administered Midazolam in order to rape his patients. He also administered the same drug to a friend, who subsequently died. Jonathan was instructed as a led junior.

R vs SA – Manchester Crown Court. The defendant pleaded guilty to accessing terrorist-related material via jihadi-sympathetic internet sites. Extensive reports were obtained about the extent to which he had been radicalized. The case received national attention. The defendant received a short custodial sentence in the circumstances of the considerable mitigation that was presented to the Court.

R vs AK – Central Criminal Court 2017. The defendant is an NHS surgeon who was charged with money laundering and terror-related fraud. The investigation was conducted by counter-terrorism officers (SO15) because of alleged links to a terrorist funding network. The defendant was one of only 3 to be acquitted of all charges.

R vs CC – Croydon Crown Court – Jonathan secured an acquittal for a young man with a type of autism charged with several rape offences and harassment. The defendant had confessed in interview; however, this was excluded at trial, following a successful section 76/78 PACE argument criticizing the custody sergeant’s approach during the booking-in procedure.

R vs PW – Guildford Crown Court – defendant charged with historic sexual offences on his granddaughters. Acquitted after trial.

R vs SN – Winchester Crown Court – defendant charged with a range of recent and historic sexual offences spanning 20 years concerning a number of victims.  The defendant had an extensive history of sexual offending on his record. Following his conviction, the Court was persuaded not to pass IPP, despite having the power to do so.

Jonathan has conducted a number of Court Martials in recent years and will happily accept instructions in such cases. He has appeared at Colchester, Bulford and in Wiltshire.

Jonathan has appeared many times before the Court of Appeal in appeals against conviction and sentence.

For 10 years, Jonathan was a chairman of the Disciplinary, Admissions and Appeal Committees of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). ACCA regulates the behaviour of qualified accountants and has a worldwide membership of over 300,000 trainee and qualified accountants.

In addition, for the last 4 years, Jonathan has sat on the Appeal and Investigation Committees of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). CIMA has 240,000 members and student members worldwide.

In 2016, Jonathan was appointed to the Taxation Disciplinary Board. He was the chair of the Committee that determined, in 2019, the case of David Hannah, a chartered Tax Adviser (https://tax-board.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/TDB-v-Hannah-Decision.pdf, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tax-adviser-who-dodged-stamp-duty-on-his-own-home-5svhjxwwm ).

Jonathan has extensive experience from his sitting over the last 12 years of the rules and procedures of Regulatory and Disciplinary Proceedings. He has also represented Solicitors before the SDT.

Appointments/Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Fraud Lawyers Association
  • Assisted Robert Banks with Editions 2 and 3 of ‘Banks on Sentence’.
Instruct JonathanTo instruct Jonathan please contact our clerks by phone on +44 (0) 20 7036 0200 or email us at clerks@libertaschambers.com