Proceeds of crime
"Real depth of experience and with excellent lawyers at all levels."
THE LEGAL 500 2022
Corker Binning handles a wide range of proceeds of crime investigations.
The UK law enforcement agencies continue to shift their property crime priorities away from prosecuting individuals to seizing and stripping them of their assets, whether those assets are held in cash, cryptocurrency, real property or any other asset class. The Criminal Finances Act 2017 increased the powers of UK law enforcement agencies to seize or detain property suspected to be the proceeds of crime, using Unexplained Wealth Orders, Asset Freezing Orders and Asset Forfeiture Orders.
We have extensive experience in advising respondents whose property has been seized or made subject to a freezing order, and other affected family members who lose control of their property because of a law enforcement action. We understand how law enforcement officials operate, so we can guide clients to achieve a pragmatic result and minimise the risk of adverse outcomes. In acting for clients facing a full spectrum of allegations of criminality, we have succeeded in getting their property released.
Our cash seizures lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:
- Representing a money services business which had £700,000 seized. We successfully negotiated the return of over half of this sum together with a formal acknowledgement that our client had no criminal culpability.
- Securing the return of £110,000 in cash seized from business owners on their return to the UK into the port at Folkestone.
- Cash seized from a safety deposit box (we have advised many individuals in the well-publicised operation by the Metropolitan Police called Operation Rize in which three London safe depositaries were raided and 6,700 deposit boxes opened and searched).
Our lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:
- Successfully applying for the discharge of a restraint order in an oral hearing contested by the CPS. The CPS had failed to demonstrate to the appropriate standard that our client, an FCA approved individual, should be the subject of the order.
- Negotiating the release of UK property held by a trust fund which the authorities alleged was under the control of the defendant, who was not Corker Binning’s client. Corker Binning persuaded the CPS that the defendant did not in fact have control and that the UK property could not therefore be restrained.
- Negotiating on behalf of an individual client that no restraint order would be applied for, either pre or post charge, in return for an undertaking that a sum of money equal to the alleged proceeds of crime was preserved for future confiscation.
- Persuading the Metropolitan Police to withdraw Account Freezing Orders and an application for Account Forfeiture Orders as a result of detailed expert and witness evidence establishing the legitimacy of the funds, together with an award of costs in favour of our clients.
Our confiscation lawyers have recently advised on the following matters:
- A halving of the amount of a confiscation order sought by the prosecution. Corker Binning had to satisfy the judge that the defendant was not concealing his true wealth and that his share of the fraud was far less than asserted.
- Acting for a client who was served with a statement from the CPS asking the Court to make a confiscation order in the sum of £34 million. They claimed the amount he should pay consisted of assets hidden overseas and assets held in the UK. Following our investigation, we were able to demonstrate to the Court’s satisfaction that he did not hold assets overseas or within the UK. As a consequence, a nominal order was made.
- Negotiating a confiscation order with the CPS following an investigation into bribery and persuading them that they should accept a sum which was a fraction of the sum originally requested.