A long firm fraud (also known as a consumer credit fraud) is a fraud that uses a trading company set up for fraudulent purposes; the basic operation is to run the company as an apparently legitimate business by buying goods and paying suppliers promptly to secure a good credit record. Once they are sufficiently well-established, the perpetrators then purchase the next round of goods on credit and decamp with both the goods and profits from previous sales. The goods can then be sold elsewhere. The procedure needs a certain amount of money to set up, often the proceeds from another crime or a previous long firm. Sometimes the individual who does jail time for assisting with the fraud is paid for their time served.
Long firm frauds have become significantly less common in recent years since it is no longer possible to operate for any length of time without leaving a significant paper trail.