Kangs Solicitors has recently defended Confiscation Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) on behalf of a client who had previously been convicted at Southwark Crown Court in respect of offences involving boiler room fraud and carbon credits fraud.
The POCA proceedings involved a substantial focus on an assertion by the Prosecution that our client enjoyed the benefit of substantial hidden assets (‘hidden assets’).
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’ in the area of financial crime for five 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.
For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our Team at any of our offices detailed below:
What are Hidden Assets? | Kangs Confiscation Solicitors
- During the course of POCA proceedings, the Crown investigates in great detail, inter alia, the assets available to the defendant, who is the subject of such Confiscation Order to clarify how the debt set out in the Order is going to be repaid.
- Frequently, the Prosecution will allege that the defendant enjoys the benefit of hidden assets being those which have not been declared, whether deliberately or accidentally.
- Some of the most common examples of hidden assets arise where assets are known to have existed but remain unaccounted for such as stolen money, the proceeds of dishonest trading or identified money laundering of the proceeds of crime, which frequently will have been transferred abroad.
- It is open to the Prosecution to allege that, for example, the defendant must have access to hidden funds as there is no transparent evidence of income etc. to satisfy the lifestyle enjoyed by the defendant or any particular financial expenditure.
The Proceedings | Kangs Financial Crime Defence Solicitors
It was agreed with the Prosecution that:
- the extent to which our client had benefited from the crime was nearly £9 million,
- the value of free property was in the region of £750,000.
However, the Prosecution asserted that there existed hidden assets in the region of £1.8 million. During the course of negotiations, an offer of £500,000 was made to cover hidden assets but as this was refused it was necessary to engage in a contested hearing at court.
At a contested hearing there is an obvious danger that, having already been convicted of a substantial criminal offence, the defendant’s version of the situation will not be believed.
However, following evidence given by our client in these proceedings, and detailed representations submitted by Queen’s Counsel, Len Smith QC on his behalf, the Court agreed to value the hidden assets in the sum of £218,000 representing a massive reduction from the figure previously offered by our client who naturally, was delighted with the outcome achieved on his behalf.
Who Can I Contact For Advice & Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Confiscation is a very complex area of law where the stakes are high given that failure to pay the amount ordered by the court will, more likely than not, result in a term of imprisonment additional to that which may have been handed down for the convicted offence.
It is therefore essential to seek expert assistance.
Please do not hesitate to contact any of the following for assistance: