CONFISCATION ORDERS

QBD (Admin) (Lewis J)
21 January 2020

The court made a certificate under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 s.16(2) in relation to property inherited after a confiscation order had been made in circumstances where the original offences had been committed before March 2003 and the Supreme Court had held that s.16(2) did apply to property acquired after a confiscation order had been made.

[2019] EWCA Crim 2204

[2019] EWCA Crim 2204
CA (Crim Div) (Irwin LJ, Warby J, Martin Spencer J)
22 November 2019

The Crown Court had been entitled to vary upwards a confiscation order after the High Court, in a claim by the defendant against his solicitors alleging that their conveyancing error had led to his conviction for breaching an enforcement notice and the confiscation order, had made an order indemnifying him against any increase in the order. The indemnity represented an “available amount” for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.22.

[2019] EWCA Crim 1897

[2019] EWCA Crim 1897
CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Carr J, Judge Thomas QC)
25 October 2019

Where a confiscation order had been made against a defendant who had been convicted of offences involving the improper retention of pension contributions, it was not disproportionate to require her to pay the full amount of the benefit obtained. Although she might have received the benefit of the pension contributions in any event, it was not open to her to argue that she would or might have acquired valuable rights had she acted honestly.

CA (Crim Div) (Leggatt LJ, Popplewell J, Judge Marson QC)
18 July 2019

The court refused to vary a confiscation order imposed following an individual’s guilty plea to breach of an enforcement notice by illegally renting out three bedsits. The rental income had been a benefit received as a result of criminal conduct for the purposes of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.76. It was not open to the applicant to argue that as he could have lawfully received a benefit from the property, that amount should be deducted from the confiscation order.

[2019] EWHC 1227 (QB)

[2019] EWHC 1227 (QB)
QBD (Jefford J)
15 May 2019

A private prosecutor was not entitled to payment out of central funds of his costs relating to confiscation order enforcement proceedings, as the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 s.17 was not intended to apply to civil proceedings in the High Court, even if the proceedings were consequential on criminal proceedings.

[2019] EWCA Civ 588

[2019] EWCA Civ 588
CA (Civ Div) (Patten LJ, Hamblen LJ, Holroyde LJ)
9 April 2019

Where a company had a proprietary claim over proceeds of fraud because they had been obtained through the unlawful use of its property by its directors, it was entitled to assert its claim in priority to a confiscation order obtained by the CPS.

[2019] EWCA Crim 501

[2019] EWCA Crim 501
CA (Crim Div) (Davis LJ, William Davis J, Judge Potter)
26 March 2019

The Criminal Justice and Data Protection (Protocol No. 36) Regulations 2014 were to be read purposively so as to give effect to Framework Decision 2006/783 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders. The Regulations could be applied to confiscation orders made before their coming into effect unless it would cause real unfairness to do so. Confiscation orders could extend to property which did not directly represent the proceeds of crime where the defendant had benefited from general criminal conduct.

[2019] EWCA Crim 351

[2019] EWCA Crim 351
CA (Crim Div) (Singh LJ, Soole J, Mark Wall QC)
8 March 2019

The court considered the principles governing the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.6(5), which required the court to make a confiscation order where a defendant had benefited from his criminal conduct, if it would not be disproportionate to require the defendant to pay the recoverable amount. The proportionality exception did not mean that a general discretion was vested in the court. It neither called for nor permitted a general exercise of balancing various interests, including the potential hardship or injustice which might be caused to third parties by the making of an order which included a tainted gift.

[2019] EWCA Crim 413

[2019] EWCA Crim 413
CA (Crim Div) (Males LJ, Stuart-Smith J, Judge Marks QC)
27 February 2019

When considering the extent of an offender’s benefit from criminal conduct for the purposes of a confiscation order, a court could not extend the meaning of particular criminal conduct beyond the conduct of which a defendant had been convicted, or in respect of which he had pleaded guilty. A confiscation order in the sum of £95,920 for rental income received following non-compliance with a planning enforcement notice was reduced to £58 as the charge specifically referred to conduct “on or about” a particular date.

[2019] EWCA Crim 163

[2019] EWCA Crim 163
CA (Crim Div) (Thirlwall LJ, Kerr J, May J)
15 February 2019

The criminal benefit obtained by a foreign exchange dealer who had engaged in missing trader fraud had been rightly calculated by reference to the sums that he had moved through a money service bureau’s bank account. Whilst he had received only a small personal profit by way of commission, that commission was based on the turnover of the business and was therefore a share in the proceeds of the laundered monies.

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