Since the Proceeds of Crime Act and the 2003 Money Laundering Regulations came into force there is even greater onus than ever placed on businesses to ensure that they operate anti-money laundering procedures. It is no longer just businesses within the financial sector, or those offering financial services, that are bound by these laws, but a growing number of companies, organisations, and individuals who must ensure that they are protected. Our barristers can provide guidance on how to meet the required regulations, action that can be taken if you believe money laundering is taking place within your organisation, and defence and representation if you are facing money laundering charges.
Money Laundering Regulations
Money laundering is the process whereby money that is obtained illegally is moved through accounts or financial transactions so that it appears to lawfully owned. Money laundering has gone on for many decades, but tighter financial regulation means that it has become increasingly difficult to get away with. Unfortunately, this does mean that organisations caught up in money laundering, that may not even be aware that they are a part of the process, can be caught in the crossfire.
Proceeds Of Crime offences
The Proceeds Of Crime Act allows for the prosecution of those companies and individuals that are believed to have helped to transform the proceeds of crime into other assets, money, goods or services. This may arise when family members of those accused of large criminal conspiracies are consequently accused of having helped to spend or transform the proceeds of the conspiracy. Or it may arise in more corporate or commercial settings, when particular businesses or institutions are said to have been involved in money laundering.
The prosecution will typically try to rely on the “criminal lifestyle” provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act, in order to confiscate large sums, possibly dating back over years, of income and expenditure. It is important that you instruct a lawyer that is well versed in money laundering and financial cases to help protect assets and defend your case.
Contact us today to help ensure that lawfully owned assets and cash are not confiscated, and that you have sound legal representation when you need it most.
If you are accused or convicted of a crime, the courts may act to freeze your money or assets, and even if you are innocent, this freezing (known as a restraint order) can leave you in financial trouble. Such an order may be imposed prior to your arrest, when you are arrested, or later on during your court case.
Our barristers may be able to help you access more of your money, for example by having your living allowance (typically set at £250 per week) increased.
Search & Seizure Warrants
Sometimes judges issue search and seizure warrants under the Proceeds of Crime Act. We may be able to help you set aside these warrants and/or obtain the return of any property seized.