New Style Cuckooing
Have you checked what companies are registered at your office address, lately? Well, maybe now is a good time!
Police sometimes describe the practice by which drug dealers take over someone’s home (often a vulnerable person) as a base for their activities as ‘cuckooing’. It now appears that this phenomenon has ‘come home to roost’ in some accountancy firms – at least in the UK.
According to a 2021 report in the SARS in Action magazine of the National Crimes Agency the new style of cuckoo uses an accountancy firm’s address as a registered office address without the knowledge or consent of the firm.
The most likely explanation for using the accountancy firm’s address is that it provides credibility which may be used to facilitate fraud. In many cases, the company will combine using the address with a Post Office redirection arrangement so the accountancy firm will not receive any mail which might trigger an investigation.
And it gets worse. Sean Kavanagh from leading company formation agency, Company Formations International in Ballsbridge explains that it is impossible to have a fraudulent Registered Office removed from your address as the CRO do not have any legislative basis for doing so, and therefore don’t.
CRO personnel went before the Oireachtas Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Employment to discuss this and other anomalies including full blown identity theft in December 2021. We still await some positive developments from this meeting.
You have been warned!
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