Investigative authorities are increasingly using civil powers set out in Part 5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to try and freeze sums in bank and building society accounts where there are ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ they contain the proceeds of unlawful conduct or funds intended for use in unlawful conduct. To apply for forfeiture, the authorities must satisfy the court that the funds are truly tainted in that way (and not just that there is a suspicion).
Importantly, the proceedings are civil, requiring no criminal conviction to act as the trigger.
As part of my fraud practice, I regularly advise individuals and businesses on pre-charge and post-charge restraint/freezing orders. I understand the significant impact such orders can have businesses, individuals and their families.
As well as helping you understand the full implications of restraining/freezing assets, I also provide commercial knowledge and robust legal representation and advocacy. I will advise you on the legality of a restraint order, what your obligations are under the order and represent you to either vary or discharge the order.
Whilst a restraint or freezing order generally allows reasonable living expenses and makes provisions for the running of a business or trade; if the allowance is insufficient for you and your family’s basic needs, I can renegotiate with prosecuting authorities for an allowance increase or in the event that fails, apply to the court to vary the order.
I also have experience of advising third parties who are affected by the imposition of a restraint order. I can advise individuals, families, friends and businesses affected by restraint or asset freezing orders, on how to protect their financial interest in assets that may have been frozen.
I have successfully recovered substantial sums of money for individuals and businesses affected by the draconian powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Police and customs officers are regularly seizing cash (over £1,000) from ordinary law abiding citizens and then applying to the Court for its further detention and eventually its forfeiture. This legislation entitles the authorities to initiate this process based on the slightest of suspicions. I understand that being subjected to a cash seizure and forfeiture action can be a distressing and traumatic experience for individuals, their families and businesses which may be effected by the seizure. As well as helping you understand the full implications of the law relating to cash seizure, I will provide you with tireless legal support every step of the way.
If your cash has been seized, you have the right to apply for its return at anytime. I understand that being the subject of an investigation is a stressful time for you. To help you I am happy to provide a free, no obligation initial consultation to discuss your case and provide preliminary advice.