Confiscation & Cash Seizure Under POCA 2002
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Confiscation Order proceedings can be issued against any individual that has gained capital through “illicit means” and often this can be someone convicted of Housing Benefit Fraud and they may have to repay substantial sums of money.
The Court will usually assess the value of the defendants lifestyle crime and assume a Benefit figure. In various cases this is the total benefit from illicit activity carried out by the Defendant or an accomplice at any time anywhere in the world and not just for where the Defendant is convicted. In assessing the benefit figure the Court will assume that all property and all income and expenditure for 6 years before the date criminal proceedings were commenced was received by the Defendant as the proceeds all illicit activity. The Crown does not have to produce evidence and it is up to the Defendant to show any assumptions are incorrect.
Once the Court has assessed a realisable assets figure, it will order payment and a prison sentence. Any non-payment will result in a prison sentence. Even after the prison sentence has been served the realisable asset figure still has to be paid.
Furthermore often the realisable asset figure is less than the benefit figure. Even though the realisable asset figure may be paid the court can require a Defendant to pay the full benefit figure if his assets increase.
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