Outstanding Manager or Director
Gareth Davies – Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty
Gareth has played an instrumental role in the creation, implementation and growth of the Anti-Fraud team at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty. He is able to produce results, can be relied upon, and is trusted within the fraud community. Gareth is someone that an employee can turn to in a time of need and is there to support the growth and development of his team and others around him. His impressive panoply of leadership qualities has been summarised in three words: empathy, expertise, passion. Judges felt that Gareth had a wide range of strengths which clearly highlighted exceptional performance.
Tech-Enabled Threats Team – HMRC
Despite being a new team, HMRC’s Tech-Enabled Threats Team have delivered significant support right across the economic crime network, including providing training, support and expertise to a wide range of key stakeholders, such as the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Government Counter Fraud Profession. Internally, the team are currently supporting more than 25 criminal investigations involving crypto assets with a total estimated laundering value of more than £500 million, and their expertise has led to the first ever seizure by UK law enforcement of Non-Fungible Tokens. In a rapidly changing financial environment, they are developing new policies, processes and training material to ensure HMRC and their partners are keeping pace with new technology and fraud methods.
Outstanding Policing Initiative
Alan Penfold – Asset Confiscation Enforcement Team (ACE) – Eastern Region Special Operations Unit
The initiative developed by Alan Penfold provides an automated email notification to the ACE team where the subject and their confiscation case is reviewed for necessary action. The triage and development process ensures that a prioritised approach to the allocation of any resulting work is undertaken. Investigations are allocated to financial investigators who invariably will obtain a restraint order to prevent new assets from dissipating prior to the completion of a final report to the CPS. The new referral feed reduces inefficiencies and has streamlined processes that assist the lead enforcement agencies through an increase in supportive and proactive work around confiscation orders. Judges felt that this initiative was highly beneficial to assist the management of confiscation and recovery of criminal gains across the nine ACE teams, and could result in a significant increase in amounts recovered.
Outstanding Performance in Tackling Money Laundering
Graham Hughes & Lynne James – Eastern Region Special Operations Unit
This nomination recognises the disruption of an international money laundering operation through the seizure and forfeiture of funds derived from deposits into a network of crypto ATMs across the UK. Because of the unregulated nature of these machines, this investigation wholly relied upon the drawing of inferences from the location of the machines in areas synonymous with high crime rates, the methods and value of deposits made, and the need to smuggle the funds out of the UK to gain access to any banking facilities. This was a groundbreaking civil investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 into an unfamiliar area of work with no precedents to assist in the formulation of an investigative strategy. Judges felt the nomination was an excellent example of the investigators ability to adapt and innovate where regulation does not exist.
Outstanding Prevention Initiative
Enhanced Checking Service – DWP
The Enhanced Checking Service (ECS) was an entirely new national team established within DWP’s Counter Fraud Compliance and Debt Directorate (CFCD) days after the start of the Covid pandemic. It was formed in response to concerns that the huge rise in claims presented heightened risks to the integrity of the benefit system. It was designed to prevent fraudulent claims being made and to safeguard the taxpayer from the burden of further economic crime presented by the pandemic. The team have successfully reviewed over 750 thousand cases and achieved total savings for 2021/2022 of £650 million. The team have been reactive to many changes, adapting and developing processes with policy and legal colleagues, as well as engaging with 3rd parties to share intelligence for wider fraud threats. Judges felt the project was exemplary, and was delivered at pace with lasting benefits and impact.
Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit and Intellectual Property Office
The partnership between the UKs Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Enforcement teams and the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (out of the City of London Police and North West Regional Organised Crime Unit) is at the forefront of the fight against intellectual property crime both domestically and internationally. Following the launch of the IPOs counter infringement strategy, this strategic and intelligence-led partnership has developed significantly and within the past 12 months they collaborated on the UKs single biggest ever police operation against counterfeit goods, resulting inthe seizure of over £500 million worth of goods. Together, they have unravelled the links between serious organised and IP crime, disrupting and dismantling those crime groups taking significant amounts of money out of the UK economy and damaging legitimate UK businesses. Judges felt that this partnership was an excellent example of collaborative working in a specialised area, resulting in protecting many unsuspecting people from this illicit economy.
Outstanding Training Initiative
Professional Certificate in Fraud Prevention Training – Cifas and City of London Police
Cifas launched the Professional Certificate in Fraud Prevention to provide learners with the practical skills and knowledge to embark on, or to accelerate a career in fraud prevention and investigation. Those who gain the Professional Certificate are instrumental in developing a network of anti-fraud specialists in England and Wales. Its innovation is demonstrated by the USP of heavily practical content, which is extremely relevant to today’s market. This helped to make it the first fraud prevention course of its kind to gain independent recognition by Ofqual – the exam watchdog for England and Wales. The Fraud Prevention Certificate was specially selected by the City of London Police, the national lead police force for fraud, to deliver fraud prevention training to the 10 Regional Crime Units representing the 43 police forces in England and Wales. Judges felt that this was a training initiative that provides counter fraud certification for numerous professionals across a wide range of stakeholders.
Outstanding New Product or Technology
trueCall is a device to help people block unwanted nuisance and scam phone calls. trueCall technology has been built into cordless telephones and telephone networks around the world, so far 4.5 million homes have been protected. It is available for both landlines and mobile phones , and in multiple trials it has shown to block over 95% of unwanted calls. Data from trueCall devices is being used in investigations by regulators and enforcement teams to monitor and identify scammers. A special version has also been designed to protect older vulnerable people, and this is used in the UK by over 120 local authorities, 33 police forces and many charities. Judges felt that this product was a unique fraud prevention tool which has had a huge impact on protecting vulnerable consumers from scam calls.
Lucy Gardiner – Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty
Lucy Gardiner is an outstanding Fraud Investigator who has stepped into the complex corporate and specialty insurance space and found evidence of fraud in places where people previously did not dare to think it could exist. Whether its identifying that the witnesses in a number of claims were all victims of human trafficking, tracking down “lost” or “stolen” planes or bringing ghost brokers to justice, Lucy Gardiner can be counted on to deliver results due to her professionalism, tenacity and dedication to delivering justice. Judges felt that the submission for Lucy’s nomination was impressive not just because she ticked all the professional boxes, but because she lifts those around her and takes them on the journey too; a true leader and advocate for fraud professionals.
Outstanding Tackling Economic Crime Professional
Dr Elisabeth Carter – Kingston University
Elisabeth Carter is a Criminologist and Forensic Linguist whose individual expertise, unrelenting drive and trademark enthusiasm make a real-world difference in tackling fraud. An unwaveringly generous and popular collaborator, her distinctive and internationally-recognised academic expertise is matched by her relentless passion and skill in translating this into compelling and accessible guidance, training, conference keynotes and publications that inspire action and drive effective change. Her critically-acclaimed research provides unique insights relevant across the entire fraud-fighting landscape, directly achieving better psychological and financial outcomes for victims, increasing public protection from fraud, and challenging negative narratives around fraud victimhood, through delivering effective strategies for cross-industry practitioners and using her media profile to reach the public on national and international levels.
Outstanding Young Professional
Gareth Davies – Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty
Gareth Davies – currently Global Head of Fraud at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty has spent more than a decade’s long career of fighting fraud,highlighting the courage and tenacity he has demonstrated by challenging the status quo and daring to find and defeat fraud in places where others did not even realise it was hiding. With multiple industry firsts to his name, and having played a significant role in delivering in excess of £80m fraud savings into the Allianz Group; Gareth continues to forge ahead, leaving no stone unturned in the company’s and industry’s fight against insurance fraud. Judges felt that Gareth is a true star, with an ability to spot an opportunity or gap and provide solutions and benefits, whilst demonstrating skills in implementing change and influencing and leading others to deliver.
Mick Beattie is widely accepted as the foremost authority on financial crime and asset recovery in UK policing. He ran the East Midlands Regional Asset Recovery Team, initiating successful campaigns to seize criminal funds (such as “too much bling, give us a ring!”) recognised in both local and national media. In 2015, he became National Coordinator, driving transformational changes on behalf of NPCC to improve police-led financial investigations and asset recovery. His achievements include drastically improving the police use and analysis of Suspicious Activity Reports, and creating a national network of intelligence officers, exploiting opportunities to seize and restrain criminal assets; acting as key police advisor for the recent FATF report, which received a positive evaluation; establishing a network of Civil Recovery Teams with CPS lawyers and police investigators, which aims to recover £10m of assets this year; and establishing the Asset Confiscation Enforcement Teams that since 2015 have recovered over £200m worth of assets.
Mick has doggedly flown the flag for financial investigation and raised the priority of fighting fraud and wider economic crime for decades. His name is synonymous with the SOCEX economic crime conference and he is well respected beyond policing. He has helped to establish new capabilities and resources to fight economic crime and is an outstanding figure in his field.
An initiator and driver of transformational change, clearly demonstrating innovation, creativity and tenacity in his approach to securing resources, protecting the public, raising awareness, and delivering tangible benefits – the impact of his work will be his legacy long after retirement.
The varied roles that this impressive investigator has filled and his success in each of these is demonstrative of an exemplary star. The innovative proposals that he has championed and driven are impressive, and the impact that he has had on the future capability of the force and wider, is part of his credentials that stand out. This demonstrates a lifetime of service and clearly deserves recognition.
The work that Michael has been involved with and a key party to throughout his career, has been influential in the realms of Tackling Economic Crime, and he has produced a legacy to be proud of.
Michael Beatie has had an exemplary career in fighting financial crime. He has had a pivotal influence on several successful campaigns and criminal investigations. Furthermore, he has a transformational impact on UK legislation designed to combat fraud and financial crime. His tireless enthusiasm for combating organised crime and the recovery of illicit funds sets him apart as a leader in the field.