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The Johnson-Arcuri scandal highlights the need for private investigation in spousal disputes

by Josef Kafka

The Independent Office for Police Conduct recently concluded that there will be no criminal investigation into the conduct of Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London, regarding his dealings with U.S businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri. While that chapter of this news story has come to an end, it does provide a useful case study, highlighting the need for private investigators in this very specific type of spousal dispute.

The conclusion of this IOPC report, announced on 21st May 2020, comes after the Greater London Authority referred the case of Boris Johnson for further scrutiny, due to allegations of a ‘conflict of interest’ with regard to Jennifer Arcuri, whose businesses received over £100,000 in public grant money, along with the opportunity to join a number of overseas trade trips headed by the London Mayor. 

These allegations arise from the suggestion that the Mayor and the businesswomen enjoyed a ‘close’ connection, though the Mayor - Boris Johnson - was married to another woman at the time. The IOPC stated that, while there was no evidence that the London Mayor influenced decisions on payments to Jennifer Arcuri’s businesses, “some evidence” was found that suggested the two shared an “intimate relationship.”

Financial settlements in divorce

It is surely a tale as old as the hills - a successful individual is suspected of allegedly using the opportunity of business trips and meetings to engage in extra-marital activities. While in this case, the funds in question were of the public persuasion, many private cases can see personal finances impacted by this kind of behaviour. It may seem like the perfect cover, to charge intimate liaison outside the marriage as a business expense, but suspicions will inevitably be raised - either at work or at home - as demonstrated by the case of Boris Johnson and Jennifer Arcuri. Suspicion can infect a marriage quickly, so for peace of mind alone, employing the service of a private investigation firm can be a worthwhile investment. There is a much bigger picture to consider, however, and it involves exploring all avenues of possibility - and avoiding the potential traps that lie therein.

In the event that infidelity is proven - with metaphorical and, perhaps, literal receipts produced - a spouse must decide how to proceed. If divorce becomes the goal, the data and evidence collected by a private investigator can become invaluable, due to the nature of divorce law in the United Kingdom. When it comes to financial settlements in the process of the legal dissolution of marriage, laws as set by Parliament do not specifically dictate the acceptability of conduct during the union, but the judiciary has set out that the conduct of spouses should not be given much weight. 

Indeed, in 1972, Lord Denning pointed out that to allow conduct to influence the determination of financial award during divorce would be akin to the issuing of a “fine” for a specific, non-criminal behaviour. So, though the aggrieved spouse might expect higher compensation for the emotional toll wrought by adultery - or even for the financial impact of divorce resulting from the infidelity of one party - the courts would rather steer clear of making these moral judgements.

Financial misconduct in marital breakdown

Financial misconduct during marriage can be a little different, though. While simply frittering away money from the marital pot - by means such as poor money management and poor life choices - is not often seen as something that warrants being addressed by court in a settlement, misconduct that is potentially fraudulent can receive a different level of consideration. The personality flaws of a spouse that lead to financial loss, for example, are generally viewed as things that should have been considered before the wedding. Allegations of fraudulent activity are an entirely different matter. So, at the point where adulterous liaisons and business activities intersect, the role of a private investigation company is never more important.

In a divorce dispute based on adultery with the involvement of potentially fraudulent financial misconduct, the gathering of evidence is vital to the success of any case. The hiring of an experienced and reputable private investigation team ensures that the necessary evidence is gathered and secured in such a way as to protect the integrity of the case, as much as to protect the client. Discretion, sensitivity, and confidentiality is key, as well as full compliance with U.K law. 

Using traditional investigation techniques alongside cutting edge technology, 1st Call Detectives provide a service defined by its diligence, reliability, and discretion. The team is comprised of experienced detectives with backgrounds in the military, the private investigation arena, and in law enforcement, which gives them a significant advantage when it comes to finding the truth as efficiently and professionally as possible, and gathering the evidence you need to reach the outcome you deserve. 

Contact 1st Call Detectives today, to discuss your requirements in confidence.

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