SOLVING PERSONAL LEGAL MATTERS
Allegations of money laundering arise in respect of the concealment, disposal, transfer and removal of property derived from criminal activity or the laundering, acquiring, using and possessing any such property.
Property is defined under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 as any asset which represents a benefit from criminal conduct, either directly or indirectly, in whole or part, so long as the launderer knows or suspects that the property represents such a benefit.
Money Laundering Prosecutions have increased dramatically since the introduction of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), [PW1] and the Money Laundering Regulations 2003. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, there are three main types of money laundering offence:
It is a matter of considerable importance to all professional advisors such as Solicitors, Accountants, Financial and Tax brokers, Estate Agents and others connected with the acquisition of the disposal of property or other assets. Obligations have been imposed on professionals and institutions to report transactions which are either known to be, are suspected to be or ought to reasonably have been known to be money laundering, failing to do so could result in prosecution. Often individuals involved in money laundering offences are unaware that they are involved in this criminal activity due to not fully understanding money laundering regulations, which is why expert solicitors are needed.
If you have unknowingly become involved in a money laundering offence and are being investigated, it is crucial you seek expert legal advice from money laundering solicitors at the earliest opportunity. Facing allegations of money laundering can be extremely damaging to a business or individuals' reputation. Money laundering defence lawyers will support and advise you throughout any investigations and make sure all the evidence is made available to them in order to build a strong case for your defence. Money laundering investigations can be extremely complex due to the nature of the crime and could involve a number of regulatory agencies. It is important you speak to a money laundering offences solicitor prior to any police interviews and to have an experienced lawyer in money laundering present during any police interviews.
Money laundering is an either way offence, which means if you're facing prosecution for this offence, you could be tried in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. Higher value, more serious cases of money laundering will be tried in the Crown court. If you are tried in the Crown Court and found guilty of money laundering, you could be facing up to 14 years imprisonment.
If you are tried in the Magistrates Court, you are likely to be facing up to 12 months imprisonment. You may also receive an unlimited fine calculated as a percentage of your weekly income. In some cases, you may receive a community or ancillary order.
When sentencing, the court will consider other factors such as previous convictions, seriousness of the offence and the extent of the harm caused and level of remorse. Other mitigating factors could be how well you co-operate with the investigations and your character. They will also take into account any disabilities or mental disorders.
If you are guilty of the offence and enter a guilty plea any time up to the first court hearing, you could reduce the sentence you're facing by up to one third. However, the later you enter a guilty plea, the likelihood of receiving a reduced sentence lowers considerably.
If you are found guilty, you will be added onto the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) database formerly known as Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) which could have devastating effects for any future career prospects.
Forbes Solicitors have an experienced and dedicated team of fraud defence lawyers with a strong reputation of defending individuals facing prosecution for money laundering. We are repeatedly asked to assist client who have already, at some time or during the course of an investigation or Court proceedings instructed solicitors. We are used to dealing with such enquiries and advising as to the transfer of a case from previous solicitors to Forbes Solicitors. It is important that you have confidence in the solicitors that you instruct to in order to get the best possible outcome. We have many years of experience in representing clients who have been the subject of such investigations.
Our serious fraud team can help by providing advice and representation throughout all stages of an investigation into money laundering. We will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome under the circumstances. We run a 24/7 service, which operates 365 days a year, so someone from our dedicated team of criminal defence solicitors is always there when you need them, providing this service nationwide. To speak to a money laundering defence lawyer, call 01772 220 022 or alternatively make an online enquiry here.