Enforcement agencies have a wide range of powers under Proceeds of Crime legislation to apply for seizure and forfeiture of assets, impose Restraint Orders and conduct civil recovery proceedings. All of these can have crippling consequences for companies in the short and the long term and expert advice is critical at the earliest stage in such investigations.
Should you or your organisation be the subject of an investigation, Lupton Fawcett can provide expert advice and assistance with interviews under caution. By having us as your legal representative you get the benefit of solicitors who understand what is involved in investigations and unlike many firms, are fully conversant with Police Station procedure.
POCA proceedings and hearings
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 extended the courts powers to confiscate assets and imposes a burden on the defendant to prove that assets and income are not the result of criminal offending.
Confiscation proceedings may take place if you are convicted of an offence, and the offence is deemed to constitute a 'criminal lifestyle' offence under the Act (if you have benefited financially from your offending). If this is determined then the court can look to establish a benefit figure derived from offending over the last six years and then determine your available amount (assets, money etc.) to pay the benefit figure back.
This is a complex process and our expert team at Lupton Fawcett can assist you in negotiating a lower benefit figure and accurate available amount and will instruct expert forensic accountants and counsel where necessary.
It is vital that the amounts in an order are correct as you can be sent to prison if you default on the payments.
Restraint and freezing orders
Restraint orders are issued by the court in order to prevent assets that are believed to have been obtained through criminal conduct from being spent, given away, concealed or transferred. This is to ensure that the assets remain available for the purpose of criminal investigation and potential confiscation proceedings if you are later convicted.
A Restraint Order can applied for by the police or prosecuting authority and can be issued by a Crown Court if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there is a genuine risk that assets will be dissipated.
It is vital that you seek advice as soon as you are notified of any such order so that our expert team can assist in ensuring that you have sufficient living expenses and negotiating the terms of any order.
Our experienced team at Lupton Fawcett can also assist you in applying to the court to discharge such an order, if it can be shown that the order is not justified and that there is no real risk of the assets being dissipated
Our experienced team can help no matter what situation your business is facing. Contact our Leeds, Yorkshire or Sheffield office today to find out more, or use our contact details below.
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