Proceeds of Crime (POCA)

proceeds-of-crime

Contacts

Gemma Raines

Michael O’Garra

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We have seen prosecution authorities increasingly use their powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 [POCA] to freeze the assets of those who are being investigated and confiscate the assets of those who are convicted of a criminal offence in which they are said to have received a financial benefit from crime.

Being made the subject of a Restraint Order prevents the recipient from disposing or reducing the value of their assets without the express permission of the Court.  In our experience, the restrictions placed are such that clients often struggle to meet their day to day financial commitments.  We usually undertake to ascertain a client’s financial needs and make representations to the prosecuting authority, to ensure that our client has access to sufficient funds to be able to afford to live more comfortably day to day.

 

After conviction, prosecutors can apply to the Court for a Confiscation Order to be made.  These can involve lengthy and destructive investigations into a defendant’s financial circumstances and can, in some cases, lead to defendants being ordered to pay large sums to the Court.  It is vital to have an experienced team defend you in relation to these proceedings.  Our experts will support you through this complex and challenging area of law and procedure.  We will advise you on the consequences of your case and fight to ensure that any criminal benefit figure is reduced.  We will also ensure that the prosecution only seek to recover against truly realisable assets.  We recognise that these proceedings can often be more devastating than any custodial or community penalty imposed by way of punishment of the Court.  It is our job to seek to minimise that impact upon clients and allow them to move on with their lives.

 

Our expertise in this area is recognised in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 where we are regarded as specialists in our region.  We are recommended by existing clients and other firms of solicitors.  It is important that we get in early in these particular cases to allow us to obtain the best possible result for you.

 

Cash Seizures

 

We are experienced in successfully opposing applications for the forfeiture of cash seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act from our clients.

 

In these type of cases it is important to move fast and once we receive your explanation we will seek corroboration from witnesses or experts.  We are then able to approach the police and sometimes secure the return of funds before any Court proceedings.  Ultimately we can advise you of the investigation stage and represent you at Court should there be a need to go to Court to recover your monies.

 

For more information please contact us using the call back form or contact page

 

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