Proceeds of Crime
If you are looking for proceeds of crime solicitors, look no further than our expert team at Levins. What is proceeds of crime (POCA)? In a nutshell it is when someone who is convicted of a criminal offence is at risk of a confiscation order being made against them.
A confiscation order is an order which orders the individual to pay an amount (determined by the court) back to the state. The idea is to make sure that even after conviction “crime doesn’t pay”. If you have benefited from crime the prosecution want it back.
Is there an application made following every conviction ? In short, no. The applications are made in some cases but not all. Usually, orders are sought in cases where there has been a financial gain i.e drug cases, money laundering and fraud. Often these cases involve serious organised crime and the higher end of cases in the crown court.
The law surrounding confiscation is extremely complex. There are also high stakes as failure to pay the order leads to default prison sentences. Even after release from the sentence the money is still owed and enforcement action can be taken. Also, a confiscation order can bite in relation to connected third parties. For example, a husband owes 50% of the proceeds of sale of the marital home and must sell the home in order he can pay the order. This means the wife could be forced to sell the property.
Our specialist team headed by David Woods has experience of dealing with these types of cases. We have experience of issues such as multi million pound assets, foreign properties, hidden assets and challenging enforcement.
This is a highly technical area and it is important that you receive the right advice. The crown will determine the “benefit figure” and then look at “available assets”. This means that there are often arguments to be had in relation to how much a person has benefitted by and how much they have in assets. A specialist financial investigation team deals with these applications and we often need to instruct forensic accountants on our client’s behalf.
It is extremely important that legal advisors are in a position to advise on the potential consequences of POCA from the outset. This means at the time of the initial police interview. If you face this kind of case and want to speak to an expert advisor please call us on 0151 480 5777.
Areas we cover include Huyton, Liverpool, Merseyside, North West, North Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire