Confiscation Orders & Asset Recovery Law Firm
Imposition of a prison sentence is rarely the end of proceedings for defendants convicted of crimes with a financial element.
Defendants in such a position may face prosecution applications for Confiscation Orders, Serious Crime Prevention Orders, and even Enforcement or Management Receivers.
At Sentence, where the prosecution apply under s6 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 the Court must make a Confiscation Order against a defendant.
Confiscation Orders are almost always referred to as “draconian” by the prosecution and the defence. The law behind them dates back to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 but has been consistently strengthened and widened since then, culminating in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 which is the legislation confiscation orders are now made under.
The Court will look to calculate a defendant’s Benefit, consider their available amount, and make an order for the defendant to pay a sum of money within at most a 6 month period. Failure to pay will result in enforcement process culminating in a consecutive default prison sentence.
Following the changes to the law made by the provisions of the Serious Crime Act 2015, confiscation orders can now impose a 14 year additional prison sentence on defendants unlucky enough to be ordered to pay over £1million. Enforcement Receivers may be appointed to force sale of jointly owned assets. Large confiscation orders can be used by the prison authorities to classify defendants as a flight risk and prevent progression to open conditions.
Even after the order is made, in some cases many years afterwards, a defendant may face a Crown application to re-open the case under s22 of POCA 2002. This can result in defendants being ordered to pay additional sums toward their confiscation order, often years after the order was made.
Expert representation is absolutely vital in defending confiscation proceedings.
Olliers Solicitors have unrivalled experience in over 15 years of defending confiscation orders. We represent client at every stage of confiscation proceedings; in some protracted and complex cases this has lasted for many years post sentence.
We have represented clients facing some of the largest and most complex confiscation cases in the country, arising out of convictions for a wide range of offences such as MTIC fraud,money laundering, drug importation and supply, people trafficking, tax evasion and blackmail.
Our caseload is nationwide and we have expertise in dealing with confiscation cases prosecuted under POCA 2002 together with the preceding CJA 1988 and DTA 1994 legislation. We have a track record of success and fight for our clients tenaciously.
If you or a family member is likely to be subject to a confiscation order and you do not have confidence that their legal team have the expertise required to properly prepare the case, contact us. We are regularly instructed by clients who wish to transfer their representation post conviction.
Civil Recovery & Cash Forfeiture
Olliers also have extensive experience of civil recovery applications brought by SOCA and the (now defunct) Asset Recovery Agency.
We are also regularly instructed to defend civil cash forfeiture applications brought by the Police. Given the lack of legal aid funding in this area and the reverse burden of proof, police forces in times of austerity are increasing their use of civil seizure powers. Early and expert advice is crucial towards successful recovery of seized cash.