Rahman Ravelli Solicitors

Rapid Response Team 24 Hour Emergency Contact:
0800 559 3500

Cash Forfeiture

Cash forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ('POCA') is overlooked by many criminal lawyers as a civil after-thought, a bit-player in perhaps a main case. Often extensions to detention of cash deadlines are un-opposed. There is often little thought into how the civil cash forfeiture process might impact upon criminal proceedings or vice-a-versa.

At Rahman Ravelli our policy is to use our expertise in POCA to the full.

Whether the cash in question is part of a bigger criminal case, or whether it is a stand-alone seizure without any criminal proceedings there are tactical considerations that should apply early on.

Here we outline just three areas that, all of those on the wrong end of a detention notice, should be aware of:

Costs

Regrettably many defendants are not made aware of the rule that even if they are successful they may not recover their costs because of the rule in R (Perinpanathan) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2010] 1 WLR 1508.  In fact there are certain early measures that can be taken to avoid that outcome and recover your full costs. If that happens then the litigation becomes a costs gamble for the State too, as long as the costs ground-work is well laid. This aspect alone can make a huge difference in the Crown's attitude to forfeiting your cash.  See Kier Group v OFT [2011] CAT 33.

Section 242(2)

The case of Angus v UKBA [2011] Lloyd's Rep. F.C. 329 turned the tables on cash forfeiture against the Crown – since then, generally speaking, the Crown has to indicate what background offending is said to lay behind the cash, (s242(2)(b)).  Officers and Financial Investigators still routinely fail to nail their colours to the mast – or do so late in the proceedings – giving an experienced POCA lawyer opportunity to submit there is no proof, there is only speculation and that the application is being made not because it should be made but only because it can be made.

Tax Evasion

Many Financial Investigators have been trying to ‘get round’ the Angus ‘problem’ by pleading tax evasion as the background crime.  There is competing case-law in this developing area but it can be argued that any proceeds from income not declared is not 'obtained' from criminal conduct as required under the Act (s242). Alternatively, only such portion of the sum seized that would be paid in tax can be forfeited; there is case law for both propositions – something often missed, especially by those making the application for forfeiture. 

We at Rahman Ravelli have been at the cutting edge of challenging all sorts of POCA cases and POCA itself since its inception. We know how clients feel when they have their cash taken away from them and told it is because they are criminals – without the fair fight of a Crown Court trial to prove their innocence and get their money back. Only a firm with the expert mix of human rights, financial crime and business crime and a wealth of experience in POCA cases can properly rise to the challenge of a difficult cash forfeiture case.

Also in Confiscation and Restraint

Restraint and Freezing Orders

If you are reading this page then it maybe that you, or someone close to you, has had their assets 'frozen' by... Read More


Confiscation

Confiscation. Of all the areas of criminal litigation this is the one most likely to make clients want to pul... Read More


“Exceptional and gifted... get to the root of a problem quickly.”

Chambers UK Guide

Cash Forfeiture Articles and News

It's All About The Money

Restraint orders lead to detailed legal argument about people’s entitlement to retain their assets. Aziz Rahman, of Rahm... Read More


Channelling Assets

Rahman Ravelli recently assisted when Channel 4’s “Dispatches’’ programme examined how UK authorities often strug... Read More


Serious Fraud Office reports another successful year. But does it tell us the full story?

Rahman Ravelli Solicitors noted the SFO’s end-of-year report. But, unlike the SFO, we feel that the report does not tell... Read More


Rahman Ravelli launches a European challenge to UK's right to take peoples assets without conviction

An explanation as to why Rahman Ravelli Solicitors has gone to the highest UK and European courts to defend the rights and... Read More


Show More Cash Forfeiture Articles and News

Send Your Enquiry

Rapid Response Team 24 Hour Emergency Contact:

0800 559 3500

Our Locations

London Office:

1 Fetter Lane, London, EC4A 1BR.

Phone:
Info & Directions

Birmingham Office:

3 Brindley Place, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 2JB.

Phone:
Info & Directions

Halifax Office:

Roma House, 59 Pellon Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 5BE.

Phone:
Info & Directions

Fax: +44 (0)1422 430 526
DX16001 HX1

Rapid Response Team 24 Hour Emergency Contact:

0800 559 3500