Tuckers Solicitors specialist lawyers have vast experience and knowledge in the investigation and defence of money laundering or related offences arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Money Laundering Regulations 2003 and the Fraud Act. The firm advises accountants, solicitors, tax advisers and other professionals on anti-money laundering compliance obligations. Money laundering investigations may arise out of a client’s own actions, their clients or a third party.
The firm has expertise in dealing with the Serious Organised Crime Agency ‘SOCA’ and the police and other agencies in relation to Suspicious Activity Report ‘SARs’. The firm recently acted in matters relating to confiscation proceedings, cash seizure, forfeiture, restraint orders, property freezing orders and civil recovery orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act and tipping off offences in accordance with National Criminal Intelligence Service ‘NCIS’.
Our lawyers have successfully persuaded the police to drop their investigations with regards to money laundering offences and failure to report suspicion of money laundering, as well as successfully arguing that confiscation orders should be dropped.
Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day, providing immediate, first-class legal advice, representation and assistance during legal proceedings. Please contact the Fraud, White Collar & Business Crime Department on 020 7388 8333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money Laundering and the Proceeds of Crime Act
Money laundering is the process whereby the illegitimate source of money is disguised behind a lawful source in order to avoid raising suspicion. An example is where someone who earns money from organised crime opens a sham business to conceal the true source of the funds. Money laundering is considered a very serious crime, which if undetected puts the financial services industry at serious risk of abuse and allows perpetrators to reap the benefits of their criminal actions.
The legal approach to the threat of money laundering is tough and far-reaching. Investigations can involve multiple agencies, advanced detection measures and mountains of evidence. Further, enforcement powers, e.g. restraint orders that freeze the assets of a person or business under investigation, are readily utilised by agencies and can cause financial chaos for accused individuals and those who depend on them.
We realise the stress that comes with being investigated for a serious crime. Tuckers Solicitors provide clear information and assistance during what can be a very uncertain time.
On this page you will find details of the offences and enforcement powers contained in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) relating to money laundering. We’ll also explain how our firm assists clients to prepare a robust defence against allegations and to achieve a satisfactory conclusion. If you’d like to discuss your matter with our money laundering and POCA defence experts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
POCA – Money Laundering Offences
POCA created a single group of money laundering offences: concealing criminal property, entering into or becoming concerned with arrangements involving criminal property (which includes arrangements to facilitate the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property) and acquisition, use or possession of criminal property. Actions also covered by POCA are conspiring and attempting to launder illegally obtained money and aiding, abetting, counselling and procuring. In other words, individuals who play a role in the larger money laundering scheme can also be prosecuted under POCA. The maximum sentence for a money laundering offence is 14 years’ imprisonment.
POCA – Enforcement Powers
POCA restraint orders assist the authorities during investigations to take control of assets believed to have been obtained by criminal means. When an order is granted, assets belonging to an individual or company are frozen and prevented from being accessed and dealt with until the investigation is complete, or the order is discharged. It is not necessary for the party under investigation to be arrested or charged, a restraint order can be applied for as soon as a criminal investigation has begun.
Restraint orders serve an important purpose for the authorities: they immobilise assets so they can later be confiscated if a defendant is eventually convicted. If a confiscation order is applied for following conviction, the offender is required to pay the court a sum equal to the benefit they gained from their illegal conduct. Prosecuting authorities have extensive powers to examine the financial records of offenders (in serious cases going back six years) in order to determine the amount gained through criminal means which is to be paid back.
Defending Money Laundering Allegations in Manchester, Birmingham, London and the rest of the UK.
When up against such draconian powers, it may seem to parties being investigated or prosecuted for money laundering that they are at a serious disadvantage. But this is not a hopeless situation and there are steps that should be taken to ensure defendants’ rights are safeguarded and their case is prepared and presented in a meticulous and assertive manner.
Money laundering investigations and proceedings can involve the disclosure and examination of years’ worth of financial records. It is important then that the defence case is based on an in-depth understanding of the evidence involved. Tuckers’ money laundering specialists are skilled in efficiently analysing large amounts of complex financial data and are experts at identifying points that could benefit the defence case, as well as issues with the prosecution evidence which should be challenged. We make sure all the evidence gathered by the agencies is disclosed so that we see the full picture. Further, our solicitors work closely with highly qualified accountants and auditors to ensure the defence case is prepared and presented to the highest level.
If a defendant is subject to a restraint order, this is likely to cause significant financial problems for them as well as for third parties, such as business partners and family members. Our defence lawyers aim to minimise the impact of a restraint order as far as possible, by applying for the terms of the order to be varied or for the order to be discharged on the grounds that it is not justified.
If the defendant is convicted of money laundering and a confiscation order is invoked, our serious crime defence lawyers will examine and challenge the terms and legality of the order. We work hard to reduce the effect of any confiscation order on the financial situations of our clients by aiming to reduce the recoverable amount as much as possible. Further, we identify and present mitigating factors to the court which will be considered at the sentencing stage.
Contact our Confiscation, Restraint and Cash Forfeiture Department
Money laundering investigations and prosecution can take a long time and cause much disorder in defendants’ lives. Instructing experienced defence solicitors as soon as possible will allow you to prepare and protect yourself and others from the negative impact early on.
We can help you from the first interview at the police station to representation at court if the matter goes that far. Throughout the process, we will apply our legal knowledge and skills to forcefully defend your case. During this complicated and confusing time, we will explain the process to you clearly and ensure you are kept up to date throughout so you can make informed decisions.
Our Confiscation, Restraint and Cash Forfeiture lawyers are available around the clock to provide specialist legal advice and representation. Please contact Leigh Wright by e-mail on email@example.com, or by phone on 0161 233 4321 (ext. 1014) or 07711679879.