Ben Holt is a specialist criminal barrister. He has been instructed as leading and led junior for the prosecution and defence in a wide range of criminal cases.
Ben is a Grade-4 CPS advocate on both the general and special crime panels as well as Grade-3 on the fraud and counter-terrorism panels.
Ben is instructed in a wide variety of cases. Recently, he has been involved in a number of substantial cases involving fraud and money laundering; both acting as sole counsel and being led, for the prosecution and defence. Ben has prosecuted a number of cases of violence involving multiple defendants (as led and leading counsel). He regularly receives instructions from Specialist Units within the CPS.
He has specific experience in dealing with complicated disclosure issues; these have included the handling of particularly sensitive material and reviewing cases which have involved evidence from Covert Human Intelligence Sources and RIPA warrants. He has been instructed by the CPS to review disclosure on various matters and has worked together with the NCA and specialist units of the Metropolitan Police in this regard. He has advised on large-scale fraud investigations at the pre-charge stage.
Ben was seconded HSBC in 2016 for a period of 9-months conducting a past-business review into mis-sold interest rate hedging products.
Operation Northleigh [Isleworth CC] 2020
Two-handed trial. Defendants are said to have committed fraud by lying that they were living in Grenfell Tower at the time of the disaster [Instructed by CPS, SCU].
Operation Footprint [StACC] 2020
Defendant said to have attempted to buy grenades over the ‘dark web’ [Instructed by CPS, Thames & Chiltern CCU].
Operation Linstock [SnbkCC] 2020
A number of linked trials relating to conspiracies to supply Class ‘A’ drugs [Instructed by CPS].
Operation Reconverge [Croydon CC] 2020
Twelve-handed conspiracies to launder money and assist unlawful immigration [Instructed by CPS, IJOC].
Ben Holt appeared in this 8-week, seven-handed, prosecution trial acting as led junior. Allegations related to the application to the Department of Health for grants in order to improve care homes by a Hospice in Somerset. Seven-handed conspiracy to defraud the NHS and DoH in relation to tenders made for building projects. Instructed by CPS SFD Manchester.
The case was an MTIC Fraud which was part and parcel of Import Duty Diversion on Beers, Wines and Spirits. According to HMRC the OCG were accountable for significant losses to the UK Exchequer through associated large scale VAT and Excise duty frauds. The group also conducted a substantial money laundering operation in relation to the proceeds of these crimes which was believed to be in excess of £86 million.
13 different individuals were said to be involved along with a whole host of MTIC and Buffer companies some of which sold on the BWS to end user Cash & Carries who were never investigated.
The case was split into two trials with Mr Aslam D1 in Trial 2. As the case developed there were significant issues with the evidence and associated disclosure problems which related to material that had been withheld by HMRC and should have been disclosed far in advance of the trial itself. After considerable legal argument in Mr Aslam’s case we were able to restrict the alleged loss to HMRC to less than £7k.
Ultimately Mr Aslam was convicted but only received a Suspended Sentence Order.
Ben Holt has successfully prosecuted a case involving the importation of unlicensed anabolic steroids (AAS) from India and Singapore. The gang imported more than 40 tonnes of illicit anabolic steroids and is said to be ‘the most prolific of its kind ever uncovered'. One member of that gang was also linked to another gang involved in the production and distribution of steroids from an underground AAS factory in the United Kingdom. Five Defendants were convicted following two six week trials.
Instructed by the CPS Organised Crime Division; investigated by the NCA in Belfast.