What are proceeds of crime?
Proceeds of crime refers to the money and other assets that criminals have gained through their illegal activity. The UK authorities have the power to confiscate these assets, which may be split between various agencies.
The criminal and civil law in relation to the alleged proceeds of crime is complex and difficult, that is why it requires specialist advice from the very start. At Forbes we have a Specialist Department, which deals exclusively with both Criminal and Civil cases.
Forbes Solicitors is different if not unique. We have an expert team that deals exclusively with financial claims made by the State and public agencies. Those claims may follow a prosecution or increasingly Civil proceedings against a client and often with little or no notice.
The department works with our Commercial, Business Crime, Crime and Regulatory departments, providing specialist advice to clients. We pride ourselves in our specialism and are regularly able to provide a comprehensive in-house service. Our reputation extends this service on a National basis. We act for and advise individuals, commercial organisations and limited companies "suspected", "accused" or "convicted", together with anyone caught up in somebody else's wrongdoing, to protect innocent people's property rights. Where necessary and appropriate, specialist Barristers and Forensic Accountants are instructed.
What can we do?
- Account and Asset Freezing Orders, establishing why orders may have been made, how to remedy and challenge, to include the wide ranging provisions under the Criminal Finances Act 2017 (worldwide orders and unexplained wealth)
- Representation and advice in both Criminal interviews under caution and Civil interviews with investigating authorities.
- Restraint Orders, the release of funds, challenges to necessity and the reasonable cause required to make such orders. Third party interest applications by partners, spouses and others.
- Establishing an evidential audit trail of legitimate acquisition of property and assets as quickly as possible
- Advice and Representation in Cash seizure and Forfeiture Applications. Preparation of mutual exchange bundles of civil evidence.
- Preparation and Representation in POCA Confiscation proceedings. Factual determination of what happened, what was "obtained", if anything at all, that represents criminal property. Bases of Plea and their relevance. The capacity to "obtain" and profit/turnover arguments. Full restitution submissions. Legitimate business activity in breach of Regulatory compliance. The risks of Double Recovery and evidential Apportionment in multiple defendant cases. Dealing effectively with the Assumptions under POCA and how to evidentially and legally challenge. Expert valuation of assets and the use of comprehensive Legal Submissions to counter prosecution assertions. Dealing with allegations of "Tainted Gifts" and "Hidden Assets". Proving the existence of beneficial Trusts (Constructive and Resulting) to protect the property of innocent third parties, including matrimonial property adjustment rights. Establishing the Court's discretion to make such orders as opposed to its' mandatory requirement to do so. Intervening and representing Third Party clients in another's criminal case ( owning or non-owning spouse or cohabitee, business partners, company directors, creditors and trustees).
- Enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates Court for non-payment of POCA orders, challenges to default sentences of imprisonment. Applications to extend time to pay (s11), to reduce orders (s23) and challenge orders to increase the amount to pay (s22) in the Crown Court and where relevant the High Court. Dealing with the appointment of Enforcement Receivers.
- Appeals to the Court of Appeal
What does this all mean?
Our expert solicitors can help you and tell you in straight forward terms how your particular problem can be addressed.
We can help you protect your property, assets and your family.
Legal Aid (Representation Order) is available to those charged with a criminal offence.