A perusal of previous articles appearing on our website will make it apparent that Kangs Solicitors are continually engaged on behalf of clients in their defence of proceedings brought against them under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’).
Recent Cases | Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
- Success in Confiscation Proceedings at Lewes Crown Court
- Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) Triumph | Kangs POCA Solicitors
- Confiscation Order Successfully Argued at Bristol Crown Court
- Confiscation – Hidden Assets Success: £1 Nominal Order Achieved
- Confiscation | POCA Proceedings – Nominal order at Kingston Crown Court
The concept of POCA, whereby a custodial sentence in respect of criminal activity is, for many convicted people, simply the start of their punishment regime followed by intensive examination by the Prosecution into alleged financial gain arising from such activity, with the view to seizing the same, is confusing to many people.
POCA proceedings are, invariably, intense, detailed and complicated involving many hours of examination of bank accounts and other documents in an endeavour to retain, as far as is possible, assets claimed by clients as being their own.
However, in this article, John Veale of Kangs Solicitors explains in a straight forward manner the fundamental intent of POCA, deliberately avoiding legal technicalities.
What Is POCA? | Kangs Confiscation Proceedings Experts
This is the procedure by which the Prosecution seek to recover from those convicted of certain offences any financial benefit arising from their crime.
All available assets are vulnerable to confiscation including family homes, holiday/investment properties in the UK or abroad, motor vehicles, jewellery, cash, balances in bank and building society accounts, investments of all types and income deriving from any businesses.
The Prosecution will seek to prove whatever figure is claimed to arise from the criminal activity and the assets against which it intends to recover the amount required, whilst the defendant, frequently alongside friends, family and acquaintances, will attempt to establish that the figure claimed is excessive and that the vulnerable assets should not be included in the process.
In the fullness of time, and usually after much negotiation with the Prosecution, the POCA proceedings will be brought before the court for determination.
Either, the issues will have been substantially resolved and agreed or, if not, a full hearing will proceed before the court, leading eventually to a Confiscation Order (‘Confiscation Order’) setting out, amongst other matters, the amount to be paid by the defendant and the manner of payment.
Money recovered via POCA usually goes to the state.
How Long Does POCA Last? | Kangs POCA Advisory Team
- Although the administrative process leading to a Confiscation Order should be concluded within two years of conviction, in complex matters it may take considerably longer.
- In most cases the Court will make a Confiscation Order setting out the value of the defendant’s assets which it has been agreed, or the court has determined, are available for disposal.
- Often the value of the available assets for disposal will be far less than the figure which it has been determined that the defendant has benefited by. In these circumstances, the Prosecution can re-open the confiscation process at any time should more money materialise which can be taken in order to reduce or pay off any outstanding balance. Accordingly, the defendant is effectively constrained by the terms of the Confiscation Order for as long as the balance of his debt remains outstanding.
Additional Burdens | Kangs National POCA Defence Team
Failure to pay the amount set out in the Confiscation Order within the allotted time for doing so will result in:
- interest accruing on the outstanding balance.
- a very real possibility that the prison sentence being served will be substantially extended or, if already released, the defendant being returned to prison.
Accordingly, a Confiscation Order is a fearsome weapon for the Prosecution and confiscation proceedings should not be treated lightly by anyone facing them.
How Can We Help? | Kangs Confiscation Procedure Solicitors
Our team is led by Hamraj Kang who is recognised as a leading expert in the field. He is one of only two solicitors nationally to be ranked as a ‘star individual’ for three consecutive years in the legal directory Chambers & Partners. Other members of the team are ranked in the Legal 500 and also ranked in Chambers & Partners.
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