What this involves
Confiscation is designed to take any profits a person has made from criminal conduct for which they have been found guilty. Once a person has been convicted, the prosecuting agency can start confiscation proceedings to assess and regain any proceeds of their crime. The assessment is undertaken with reference to any benefit a convicted person has received from their crime. In some cases, such as money laundering or drugs supply, a person is deemed to have had a criminal lifestyle and therefore to have benefitted. The extent to which a person has benefitted from their crimes is used to determine the amount they have to repay. The repayment amount becomes recoverable, and should be equal to the benefit gained. In this way, the prosecuting authority seeks to ensure that the crime is punished but also not profitable for those involved.
Similarly to civil recovery, confiscation is governed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). Confiscation proceedings differ, however, because they must follow a criminal conviction and they take place within the crown court. The seriousness of confiscation cannot be understated: failure to repay the amount judged to represent the proceeds of the crime will result in a prison sentence and accruing interest.
It is therefore important to seek advice and representation when facing confiscation proceedings. Bright Line Law are able to use their criminal law knowledge to understand the nature of the underlying conviction. Our team combine expertise in financial crime, advocacy skills and strategic thinking to navigate confiscation proceedings.