What are Proceeds of Crime?
Proceeds of crime are money or assets gained through criminal activity. Where proceeds of crime have been defined, bodies, such as The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), have the power to confiscate these assets under the provision the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
What is the Proceeds of Crime Act?
The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 related to the recovery and confiscation of proceeds made from criminal activities and money laundering. Previously, the law on confiscation was covered by the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 and the Criminal Justice Act 1988, although these Acts still apply to confiscation proceedings where the offences amounting to proceeds of crime were committed before 24 March 2003, which was the date that the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 came into force.
When are Proceeds of Crime proceedings issued?
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 proceedings are issued where:
- A defendant is convicted of an offence or offences in proceedings brought before the Crown Court; or where a defendant’s case is committed to the Crown Court for sentence; or he is committed to the Crown Court in respect of an offence or offences under section 70 of the Act (committal with a view to a confiscation order being considered).
- The prosecution asks the court to commence POCA proceedings or the court considers it appropriate to commence POCA proceedings.
Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings are mandatory where the prosecution asks the court to proceed to the confiscation stage. Confiscation orders can only be made by the Crown Court; the Magistrates’ Court does not have the authority to make confiscation orders.
Calculations in the Proceeds of Crime Act
The first step is to determine how much a defendant should pay under a confiscation order. To do this, there are two figures which need to be calculated:
- the benefit figure
- the available amount
From these two figures, a final figure which is termed the recoverable amount is determined. Once the recoverable amount is determined, the Crown Court will make a confiscation order which directs the defendant to pay the recoverable amount.
How can a forensic accountant help in proceeds of crime proceedings?
In proceeds of crime proceedings, forensic accountants might be instructed to provide expert evidence on behalf of the defendant to determine which gains were earned, and which were gained though criminal activity. Although the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 provides the authority for confiscation, the use of a forensic accountant allows for a fair and balanced approach to calculating the recoverable amount.
Why might you need a forensic accountant?
- Provide a forensic accountant expert witness report
- Participate in conferences with counsel
- Collaborate in preparing joint statements
- Attend court to give oral evidence
- Consider section 16 statements
- Collate section 17 responses
What forensic accountant experts does Expert Court Reports have?
We work with Mr Barry Minnery, a highly experienced and sought-after forensic accountant. As with all our experts, Mr Minnery will only take a case which falls safely into his area of expertise. This is the mark of a good and reliable expert witness.
Why use Expert Court Reports?
A good forensic accountant expert witness should come with years’ of accountancy experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness. Look for someone who has established expert witness experience. Our expert, Mr Barry Minnery, has provided evidence as an independent expert, a sole joint expert, and has experience of preparing joint statements. He has prepared reports for claimants, defendants, the CPS and has acted as a client representative in first-tier tribunal appeals in relation to the Child Maintenance Service.
How quickly can you provide a report?
At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession. We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be. However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale. The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny. All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.