In 2002, the Proceeds of Crime Act was introduced as a piece of legislation designed to penalise organised crime. It allows authorities to seize cash where they have evidence proving it is from the proceeds of crime.
- If you have been convicted of criminal conduct, it is possible that the court can issue orders to seize your money and recover assets.
- If you are convicted at the Magistrates Court, the court can declare a forfeiture order. This means a police officer or constable will be able to seize any amount over £1000.
- If you are convicted at the Crown Court, the court has the power to declare a confiscation order. The court must, firstly, have evidence that you live a ‘criminal lifestyle’. This means it must be proven that proceeds of crime have come from money laundering or drug offences, or other unlawful means. Once this is established, a confiscation order follows. Assets which can be confiscated include; money in bank accounts, cars and property such as houses or jewellery.
- POCA 2002 also criminalises money laundering. There are three main offences under this category, all which carry custodial sentences lasting up to 14 years. The first is concealment, conversion or removal of criminal property. The second is entering an agreement which concerns autonomy over criminal property by an individual or on behalf of another person. The last one is acquisition, use or possession of criminal property.
This piece of law has immense authoritarian powers, it is of upmost importance to us that you know your rights and how to move forward. If you are under investigation, we strongly suggest you contact our defence team who will provide specialist advice and knowledge. Our defence team has dealt with all types of cases under the Proceeds of Crime Act from relatively low amounts to multi-million pounds worth of assets at stake. We are ready to take your case on board and fight your corner. Call us today on 01282 678767 / 0330 053 6767 or contact us online.