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06/02/24

Successful Outcome | Application for Account Freezing Order Defeated

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KANGS has successfully represented a client against whom HMRC were seeking an Account Freezing Order alleging that considerable funds held in her bank account derived from criminal conduct.

Tim Thompson of KANGS Solicitors reports on this successful outcome.

KANGS has been representing clients facing investigation and proceedings commenced by HMRC, in both criminal and civil courts, for many years and is ‘Top Ranked’ by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Our Team is led by Hamraj Kang, a nationally recognised leader in the field of financial crime investigations, ranked in the ‘Top Tier’ of criminal solicitors nationwide, the winner of The Legal 500 ‘Criminal, Fraud and licensing solicitor of the year’ and only one of two solicitors in England and Wales ranked for the eight consecutive year as a ‘Star Individual’ in the Chambers UK Directory for work in the field of financial crime and fraud.

We are here to assist and our Team can be contacted for confidential and discrete advice as follows:

The Circumstances | KANGS HMRC Investigations Solicitors

As the result of its investigations, HMRC identified transfers of funds into our client’s account from a company, believed to be a payroll company, of which our client’s husband was the director.

HMRC alleged that our client’s account was being used to launder the proceeds of suspected Payroll Fraud thereby rendering such funds recoverable property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, (‘POCA’)

HMRC applied to the Court for an Account Freezing Order in order to prevent the disposal or dissipation of the funds whilst it continued its investigations.

The Relevant Law | KANGS POCA Defence Solicitors

POCA states:

‘303Z1 Application for account freezing order

(1) This section applies if an enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that money held in an account maintained with a relevant financial institution:

(a) is recoverable property, or
(b) is intended by any person for use in unlawful conduct.’

Recoverable Property is defined by POCA as:

‘304 Property obtained through unlawful conduct:

(1) Property obtained through unlawful conduct is recoverable property.

(2) But if property obtained through unlawful conduct has been disposed of (since it was so obtained), it is recoverable property only if it is held by a person into whose hands it may be followed.

(3) Recoverable property obtained through unlawful conduct may be followed into the hands of a person obtaining it on a disposal by

(a) the person who through the conduct obtained the property, or
(b) a person into whose hands it may (by virtue of this subsection) be followed.’

How We Assisted Our Client | KANGS Account Freezing Order Solicitors

Having regard to the considerable urgency required to oppose the Application, the KANGS Team:

  • scrutinised HMRC’s Application and information filed in support,
  • attended our client in several meetings, taking her detailed instructions and advising upon her position and the appropriate course to adopt,
  • collated and examined evidence required to rebut HMRC’s allegations,
  • prepared comprehensive and detailed Written Representations supported by the rebuttal evidence for consideration by HMRC,
  • discussed our client’s stance at length with HMRC.

The Successful Result | KANGS Money Laundering Offences Defence Solicitors

Despite the Written Representations and supporting evidence provided by the Team at KANGS and discussions with HMRC, the decision was taken by HMRC to continue with the Application for the Account Freezing Order.

Accordingly, we attended Court to oppose HMRC’s Application.

At the Hearing, following consideration of representations by both sides, the Court refused HMRC’s Application stating that there was insufficient evidence to support its allegations.

Who Can I Contact for Help? | KANGS Financial Fraud Offences Defence Solicitors

KANGS enjoys a nationwide reputation for the excellence of its services to clients facing alleged criminal conduct of every description including that involving financial fraud.

On a regular basis, the Team at KANGS represents individuals, companies, directors and other company officers facing proceedings under POCA including Account Freezing Orders, Account Forfeiture Orders and Restraint Orders.

Our Team would be delighted to hear from you and we welcome enquiries by:

Telephone: 0333 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide an initial no obligation consultation from our offices in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Alternatively, we provide initial consultations by telephone or video conferencing.

Hamraj Kang

Hamraj Kang
Senior Partner

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Tim Thompson

Tim Thompson
Partner

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Nazaqat Maqsoom

Naz Maqsoom
Associate

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