Proceeds of Crime Act - What happens if my assets can't be sold

Once your assets are realised you may have a shortfall in the amount owed on your confiscation order. If this happens we can apply to the Crown Court to vary the confiscation order. We can look to reduce the amount due to there being inadequate funds to satisfy the order.

There can be a variety of reasons why a shortfall occurs. The most common being an asset not reaching the sale price at auction, having to reduce a sale price in order to attract a buyer or bankruptcy.

What are enforcement proceedings?

These are proceedings held at a Magistrates Court who have the power to send a person to prison to serve the time in default for non payment of the confiscation order. This is worked out pro rata so that any money that has been paid will be taken into account and deducted from the term of imprisonment.

We can assist you with these proceedings as there are a number of reasons why an order has not been paid and our expert representation may help to prevent any term of imprisonment.

Reconsideration of the available amount (uplift by the Prosecution)

Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common for the Prosecution to revisit confiscation orders where there is an outstanding benefit to be paid, even though the available amount has long been paid.

There is no time bar on these applications, and you may find that having worked hard and accrued funds in the bank, or simply being given an asst (eg by way of an inheritance) your assets could be in danger of being used in an application to uplift the available.

What should I do if a Proceeds of Crime case has been served on me?

It’s crucial that individuals suspected of wrongdoing or apprehensive about potential allegations seek expert guidance regarding their rights and the most effective approach to handling the inquiry.

At MK Law, our team comprises skilled POCA solicitors, each boasting extensive experience in case preparation and a proven track record of success. Our adept solicitors offer comprehensive guidance throughout every phase of your case, ensuring you receive sound advice and strategic direction.

We can also represent you in enforcement proceedings as there is no automatic right for the assets to be taken and used towards paying the confiscation order. The Court must decide what is just and that the new amount does not exceed the original benefit figure.

We understand the profound impact these orders can have and emphasize the critical importance of sound advice and strategic planning from the outset.

A successful dismissal of confiscation proceedings

In a widely reported case 9 defendants known as the ‘Portuguese mafia’ were convicted of conspiracy to supply Cocaine, Heroin and Cannabis. This was a substantive confiscation matter and the defence successfully made representations that confiscation should not be pursued as the defendant didn’t have any assets. Therefore, it would only be a substantial benefit confiscation order with no prospects of recovery. POCA proceedings were withdrawn after the service of the section 18 disclosure.

Useful Information

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The Proceeds of Crime Act

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