Stephen Hopper


'Very clever and ferociously hardworking'

- Legal 500 (2016)

Stephen’s practice is a mixture of criminal prosecution, criminal defence and professional disciplinary work. He has extensive jury trial experience across the full range of criminal offences; appearing as junior alone, led junior and leading junior. He has appeared in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division for both appellants and the Crown. He is a Level 4 Prosecutor and member of the CPS Specialist Fraud Panel.

Stephen specialises in fraud and financial crime. He is a ranked junior in Chambers and Partners (Financial Crime) and is frequently instructed by the Specialist Fraud Division of the Crown Prosecution Service in cases of VAT fraud, income tax fraud, money laundering and large scale benefit fraud. As a consequence of this work, he has acquired considerable experience of confiscation and forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He has a detailed knowledge of the disclosure regime and related law.

Stephen has also been instructed for the defence in financial crime cases including a case of alleged tax evasion arising from claims for tax relief via a “film” scheme.

Aside from fraud cases, Stephen carries out a variety of other work. Recent prosecution instructions have included cases of kidnap and money counterfeiting, as well as gang related firearms offences.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) frequently instruct Stephen in criminal prosecutions under the Medicines Act and related regulations. He has also provided pre-charge advice to the MHRA in cases involving patient deaths arising from either prescribing or drug manufacturing errors.

Since 2008, Stephen has been instructed in a number of cases by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants as a case presenter. He has also provided written advice to the Association on matters of regulatory law.

Notable Cases

Operation Sodergren (2017) (Blackfriars CC) Leading junior for the Crown in a case of money laundering via an international money transfer business with branches in six UK cities. The amount laundered through the business exceeded £100 million.

Operation Falcon (2017) (Isleworth CC) Led Junior for the Crown in the case of a professional fraudster who deceived victims into taking up non-existent gold bullion and FOREX investments.

Operation Leonardo (2016) (Croydon CC) Leading Junior for the Crown in an NHS Protect fraud prosecution. The defendants defrauded the Epsom and St Helier Hospital by overcharging for work done at the Renal department and on behalf of dialysis patients. The lead defendant was an employee within that department responsible for the installation and maintenance of dialysis equipment.

Operation Fireball (2016) (Central Criminal Court) Leading Junior for the Crown in the prosecution of an organised crime gang who laundered the proceeds of a large scale E Bay fraud.

Operation Abbeyville (2015) (Croydon CC) Led Junior in a case involving 7 defendants, 6 of whom were deaf. The allegations involved fraudulent expenses claims, via a government scheme, for the use of sign language interpreters.

R v Rasheed (2015) (Central Criminal Court) Leading junior. National Crime Agency investigation into an international money launderer who worked as part of a money transfer network including groups in the UK, Netherlands and UAE.

Operation Veneer (2014) (Southwark CC) Prosecution junior in a money laundering prosecution based around a central London bureau de change. The bureau converted in excess of £100 million of criminal proceeds. 

Operation Solent (2014) (Southwark CC) Leading junior for the Crown.  Eleven defendants charged with a conspiracy to defraud the Royal Marsden NHS Trust.  In excess of £600,000 of payments intended for the hospital’s suppliers were diverted to bank accounts controlled by the defendants. 

Operation Moonshot (2014) (Central Criminal Court) Junior alone prosecuting five defendants in VAT repayment fraud using shell companies.

Operation Beigy (2012) (Southwark CC) Prosecution junior.  Conspiracy to defraud based on the Access to Work Scheme for disabled employees.

Operation Vex (2012 and 2013) (Kingston CC) Prosecution junior with responsibility for disclosure. Missing Trader fraud involving a VAT loss in excess of £70 million. 

Operation Domic/Dedans (2010) (Southwark CC) Prosecution junior with responsibility for disclosure.  £12 million revenue fraud based around counterfeit vodka and tobacco operations.

Operation Rize (2010) Advisory work for the DWP in a number of cases arising from the 2008 “Safety Deposit Box” searches.

R v S, S and ZS (2010) (Luton CC) Defending as led junior in mortgage fraud involving dishonest mortgage broker.

Operation Cerastium (2009) (Southwark CC) Led junior for the Crown in organised conspiracy to assist illegal immigration based around firm of London solicitors.

R v S and 9 others (2009) (Blackfriars CC) Defending in conspiracy to rob trial.  Result of Metropolitan Police operation targeted at West London gang.

R v S and ten others (2007) (Portsmouth CC) Represented one of eleven defendants in a two month trial concerning a conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.

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