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Unexplained Wealth Orders: A new power for law enforcement agencies

The Criminal Finances Act 2017, which came into force early this year, gives enforcement authorities such as the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’), Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’), the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) and the Serious Fraud Office (‘SFO’) new powers which are designed to help law enforcement act on suspected corrupt assets. Section 1 of the Criminal…

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Section 22 Confiscation Applications – What should I do?

It has become increasingly common for police and Crown prosecutors to look to re-open old satisfied confiscation orders in the hope of getting additional revenue. Resources are scarce and this procedure presents an opportunity to obtain some much needed income. Quite often the subject of such applications is the equity in a matrimonial home in…

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Frozen bank account and no explanation? Suspicious Activity Reports and the high street bank customer post April 2017

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) have been with us for over 15 years, but to many outside the Regulated sector they are a somewhat unfamiliar concept. The number of SARs has increased steadily.  The latest available statistics (October 2015 to March 2017) show that over 630,000 SARS have been made in an 18-month period. The National Crime…

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Freezing Injunctions: the need for certainty

A recent decision on a preliminary issue by Mr Justice Henderson in the case of Haederle  v Thomas [2016] EWHC 1866 is a telling reminder of the need for precision when drafting Freezing Injunctions (and Restraint Orders too). A Freezing Injunction (formerly known as a Mareva Order and sometimes referred to as a Freezing Order)…

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City Police to use private law firms to confiscate assets

The City of London Police have announced a scheme to work with private firms of solicitors  to freeze assets and compensate the victims of fraud. The City of London Police has established a working group which also includes the National Crime Agency (who have their own powers under Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime…

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POCA: Major changes now in force

Major amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 were brought in force by the implementation of the Serious Crime Act 2015, and amendments to the Policing and Crime Act 2009 and the Crime and Courts Act 2013 all of which came into effect on 1 June 2015. A draconian piece of legislation just got…

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Restrained assets now available for legal aid

As of yesterday (1 June) assets subject to a Restraint Order may now be used to pay legal aid contributions and to satisfy legal aid costs (SI2015/710 and 2015/868).

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Restraint Order breach attracts imprisonment

In Gary Drewett (2015) the High Court imposed an immediate nine month sentence of imprisonment for contempt of court for breaching a Restraint Order and Receivership Order. The Defendant, who had served a previous sentence of imprisonment for a like offence, had failed to comply with the terms of a. Receivership Order imposed following a…

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CPS liable for Receiver's fees

The Supreme Court handed down judgment to conclude the Eastenders litigation on 8 May (Barnes v the Eastenders Group [2014] UKSC 26). In this case, a busy Crown Court judge had granted applications for restraint and receivership orders brought by the CPS which involved the piercing of the corporate veil of the respondent company whose…

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Confiscation can carry on biting

Mr Padda (Padda 2013 EWCA 2330) discovered to his horror how his attempt to turn around his life by setting up a legitimate business led him back into the Crown Court for a re-consideration of his available amount. This case should provide a salutary warning about the ability of the prosecution to seek to satisfy…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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