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Conviction Quashed for Money Laundering Case

24 May 2019

Akhtar Ahmad and Hanisha Godhania of ABV Solicitors, who instructed Stan Reiz of 2 Bedford Row to represent H in his successful appeal at the Court of of Appeal (Criminal Divison) on the 23rd May 2019. ABV Solicitors or Counsel did not act for the client in the lower Courts.

H was alleged to have laundered the proceeds of a fraud targeting elderly victims who were deceived into transferring large sums of money to the bank accounts of third parties, by fraudsters posing as police officers.

The argument on appeal was that the trial Judge erred in finding there was a case to answer. It was submitted that by receiving the proceeds of the fraud into his bank accounts, H was not “acquiring” criminal property as it did not have its criminal character until after it was received into his bank accounts. It was conceded on behalf of H that had the Prosecution charged any other offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”), H would have been properly convicted.

The Court accepted it had no choice but to allow the appeal and quash the conviction. Whilst the argument advanced was described as a technical point and unattractive, the Court concluded it was well-founded.

When available, a link to the judgment will be added to this post and a blog explaining the relevance of the case to practitioners will also be posted on our website.

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