Kangs Solicitors recently successfully assisted a client in Confiscation Proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) where the only realizable asset was the family home (‘the property’) in which he purported to have no financial interest, but which remained occupied by his estranged wife.
John Veale of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the circumstances.
The Circumstances | Kangs Confiscation Solicitors
The Prosecution alleged that our client had a substantial interest in the property by virtue of monetary payments assisting the purchase and maintenance of the property which arose from the proceeds of crime.
Our client denied any interest in the property and his estranged wife gave notice of her intention to enforce her third party financial rights in the property.
The Law | Kangs Financial Crime Solicitors
In 2015, POCA was amended in respect of third party interests enabling:
- third parties to make representations in respect of their interest and to be represented at the Confiscation Hearing
- the Court to seek representations from those seeking to enforce a third party interest
- the Court to determine the validity of any claim to a third party interest.
Potential Effect of Third Party Action | Kangs POCA Defence Solicitors
The actions of a third party, who will require independent legal advice, may lead to procedural obstacles where:
- any advice received and assertions made by the third party are disruptive to the defendant’s case.
- the third party fails to attend the Confiscation Hearing and/or has no legal representation. In such circumstances:
- the Court may make an order that is not consistent with the third party’s alleged interest,
- the disputed asset may fall for recovery under the Confiscation Order and
- if enforcement is required, a Management Receiver may be appointed by the Court to sell it.
The Successful Outcome Achieved | Kangs Financial Crime Defence Lawyers
Notwithstanding the third party’s initial indication of her intent to pursue a claim, she failed to attend the Confiscation Hearing or be represented.
However, detailed and extensive negotiations throughout the proceedings enabled a settlement to be reached involving:
- our client paying a negotiated sum to satisfy the Confiscation Order
- our client accepting that he had an interest in the property
- our client recognizing that if he failed to meet the requirements of the Confiscation Order the authorities could enforce against the property for the unpaid amount.
Accordingly, upon our client satisfying the terms of the Confiscation Order, the property, occupied by the estranged wife, will be secure from any future enforcement action and any subsequent increase in the value of the property will accrue for her benefit.
How Can We Help? | Kangs POCA Defence Specialists
At Kangs Solicitors we have a team with many years experience dealing with POCA proceedings at all levels and we are recognized nationally for such work having been involved in some of the largest and most complex cases ever pursued by the authorities.
If you have any requirement for assistance with regard to any facet of POCA proceedings, then please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following: