Money laundering

The UK has some of the toughest money laundering legislation anywhere in the world. Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the offence carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment accompanied by the almost inevitable threat of restraint and confiscation proceedings.

Prosecuting authorities are increasingly eager to take advantage of the wide range of offences that constitute money laundering and which allow them to spread their investigative net wider than just those individuals who are charged with fraud offences alone. The Serious Fraud Office has recently acknowledged the usefulness of the proceeds of crime legislation now that the Bribery Act 2010 is in force and intends to investigate money laundering with renewed vigour alongside allegations of corruption.

Our lawyers frequently act for professionals who find themselves unexpectedly caught up in money laundering investigations whether as witnesses or suspects. We offer expert advice on what steps can be taken to minimise the impact of such an investigation.

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Chambers UK 2014

We also advise solicitors, accountants and other professionals in finance and banking on the stringent anti-money laundering compliance measures required by the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. The importance of these regulations, breaches of which may involve financial penalties and possible imprisonment, has been underlined by a recent study undertaken by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into the UK banks’ handling of the threat of money laundering in high risk cases. The FCA found that approximately 75% of banks in the UK had failed to take adequate steps to establish the provenance of funds and confirmed that two banks, not identified, were now facing enforcement action after serious weaknesses in their anti-money laundering controls were identified. At Corker Binning we offer expert advice to individuals and companies on these issues. Partners Peter Binning and Jessica Parker are members of the Law Society’s advice panel for anti-money laundering matters and the firm is retained by one of the leading accountancy firms to advise on money laundering.

Recent work by Corker Binning includes:

  • acting for one of the main defendants in a $36 million international money laundering case tried in the UK in 2011 and involving Nigeria’s mobile telephone provider
  • advising two major high street banks on behalf of employees interviewed or investigated either for actual money laundering or for failure to report suspicion of money laundering offences. In every case Corker Binning persuaded police to drop their investigations
  • advising many individuals in the well publicised operation by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Rize in which three London safe depositories were raided and 6,700 deposit boxes opened and searched
  • acting for a foreign national extradited back to the UK to face charges for laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking.

For more information about Corker Binning’s expertise in this area, please visit business crime and fraud, cartels and company investigations, corruption & bribery, FCA investigations and insider dealing and market abuse or call us on 0207 353 6000.

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