Specialises in serious and complex cases of fraud, corruption, money laundering,
the importation and supply of drugs, regulatory offences and confiscation proceedings.
YEAR OF CALL 2000
CPS Specialist Fraud Panel – Level 4
CPS Serious Crime Group Panel – Level 4
CPS Advocate Panel – Level 4
Serious Fraud Office Panel – List A
Specialist List of Regulatory Advocates
Deputy District Judge
South Eastern Circuit, Criminal Bar Association, Fraud Lawyers Association
Overview of Practice
Paul Sharkey is a highly experienced advocate specialising in serious and complex cases of fraud, corruption, money laundering, the importation and supply of drugs, regulatory offences and confiscation proceedings.
He is regularly instructed by the Specialist Fraud and Organised Crime Divisions of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and a number of local authorities.
Paul also acts as independent counsel to advise upon legal professional privilege in relation to material seized by prosecution authorities.
Paul Sharkey has wide-ranging experience in dealing with different types of fraud, including VAT repayment fraud, MTIC fraud, benefit fraud, mortgage fraud, tax credit fraud, alcohol diversion fraud and money laundering. He is currently instructed both as leading and junior counsel in a number of substantial cases of fraud and corruption.
Paul is highly skilled at dealing with cases involving a significant amount of documentary, financial and expert evidence, and at presenting difficult and cases to juries, including through the use of the electronic presentation of evidence.
He is a member of the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel (Grade 4) and the Serious Fraud Office Panel (List A). He is regularly instructed to provide advice pre-charge in difficult and complex cases.
Recent cases include:
Operation Larkspur (ongoing) – prosecution relating to alleged fraudulent claims for legal costs from public funds
Operation Smitten – leading counsel in prosecution of nine defendants in large-scale fraud against HMRC
Operation Octopod – investment fraud linked to land banking scheme
R v. Tappuni – corruption by medical expert advising The World Bank in procurement process
R v. Davies – prosecution of serial fraudster/conman who targeted distressed companies and fleeced them of remaining assets
R v. Mote – expenses fraud by former MEP
Operation Aquamarine – large-scale mortgage fraud against Barclays
Operation Kilbirnie – prosecution related to boiler room fraud
Paul prosecutes and defends in a wide range of criminal offences, with particular specialisms in cases of fraud, money laundering, drugs offences and confiscation proceedings.
Paul has acted in numerous cases involving the large-scale importation and supply of drugs and is regularly instructed by the CPS Organised Crime Division. He has extensive experience of dealing with difficult disclosure, PII and RIPA issues in such cases and is familiar with the range of evidential tools often deployed: telephone evidence (cell-site, phone billing, phone interrogation), observation evidence, tachograph evidence, drug valuation evidence, other forensic evidence and evidence obtained through co-operation with foreign jurisdictions through mutual assistance and Letters of Request.
Recent cases include:
Operation Biosocial – conspiracy to supply class A drugs
R v. Robinson – supply of cocaine and money laundering
Operation Jammed – money laundering by bureau de change
R v. McCarthy – heroin importation
Paul Sharkey has prosecuted and defended numerous substantive confiscation hearings, in particular following on from convictions for fraud and drugs offences. He has extensive knowledge of confiscation legislation both under the former regime of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the current Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Paul regularly acts for and advises local authorities in the prosecution of regulatory offences – including health and safety, food hygiene, trademark infringement, environmental and planning offences, and breaches of enforcement notices and regulations under the Housing Act 2004.
WCC v. Saddiq  – prosecution under Housing Act for breach of enforcement notices
RBKC v. Sachedeva  – prosecution of company and director for possession of counterfeit goods and breaches of consumer safety regulations
WCC v. Nero Holdings Ltd  – prosecution of company for breaches of street trading regulations
WCC v. Pro Elite  – prosecution of company for offences under Trade Marks Act 1994
WCC v. Tesco  – prosecution of supermarket for breaches of Food Hygiene Regulations
WCC v. Addison Lee [2011-2012] – prosecution of taxi company for offences under Town and Country Planning Act relating to unlawful advertising and subsequent appeal to High Court
Paul has also acted for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills for prosecutions under the Insolvency Act and Company Directors Disqualification Act.
Operation Smitten [2017-2019] leading counsel in prosecution of eight defendants in large-scale fraud against HMRC
R v Tappuni  – corruption by medical expert advising The World Bank in procurement process
Operation Biosocial  – Conspiracy to supply cocaine
R v. Canavan  – Fraud by abuse of position. Hotel Manager defrauded hotel in false invoice scam.
Operation Aquamarine [2012-2016] – Large-scale mortgage fraud against Barclays
Operation Kilbirnie [2015-2017] – prosecution related to boiler room fraud
R v. Davies [2015-2017] – Prosecution of serial fraudster/conman who targeted distressed companies and fleeced them of remaining assets.
R v. Mote [2015-2016] – Prosecution of former MEP for expenses fraud
Operation Empyrean [2014-2016] – Prosecution of large-scale VAT repayment fraud
Operation Acid Rain  – Prosecution of tax credit fraud relating to abuse of CIS scheme by directors of building companies
Operation Duma [2012-2015] – Confiscation proceedings arising out of MTIC VAT carousel fraud and subsequent appeal R v Chahal  EWCA Crim 816
Op Jammed  – Prosecution for money laundering
R v. McCarthy [2011-2013] – Heroin importation
Operation Fastback [2011-2013] – Prosecution of eight-handed £330m VAT carousel fraud and relating confiscation proceedings.
Operation Callous [2010-2012] – prosecution of accountant and others for involvement in £2.5m VAT repayment fraud.