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Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 broken down by our fraud solicitor
05 Dec 2022

When you run a business or company and have been involved with some potentially less than reputable business partners or customers, you may soon find that there have been a number of issues with getting access to your bank account, or indeed, there may even be property seizures. None of these is good and can lead to a lot of stress and uncertainty. Why is it happening? And how can these things be allowed to happen?

It is due to the Proceeds of Crime Act. This act allows for the confiscation of property, goods and assets if they are deemed suspicious or are thought to be related to criminal activity. So, should this happen to you, what can you do?

You can call our team at ABV Solicitors. Our fraud solicitor is always on hand to offer advice to those who may be the focus of a criminal investigation relating to money laundering or fraud and will be able to offer you support should your case go further and involve audits or civil recovery proceedings.

But what do all these terms mean? What is a civil recovery, and why would your bank accounts be frozen? Our fraud solicitor breaks down the basics of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 below.

Bank account freezing (AFOs) and cash seizure

Authorities now have the ability to freeze and investigate any bank account balance which is larger than £1000. Of course, there has to be a reasonable suspicion that this money is the product of criminal activity. Or that you intend to use it for illegal activities.

Thus, an AFO can freeze your bank accounts, preventing you from withdrawing money from them, and the money within them may be seized. Our fraud solicitor will work to have any bank accounts unfrozen and will work to have seized money returned to you as soon as possible via contesting the application.

Civil recovery

This is a High Court process, where assets such as cars and properties are seized that either belong to you or your company.

If you have homes overseas, they are not immune, and the UK law in relation to this can seize properties and cars that are located abroad.

Unexplained wealth order

This is where the authorities suspect that you have obtained money through serious criminal activity or that you are closely related to someone who is involved in such activities.

Much like civil recovery, if you have money stored in a foreign bank account, this can be investigated, as can properties or assets bought with the suspected money. Our team will work to showcase that the money you have was legally obtained, thus preventing or halting the investigation from going any further.

Confiscation proceedings

All of the aforementioned actions have to go through a process where our team will step in and try to prevent them from occurring. But, if they go ahead and confiscation proceedings begin, we will aim to discharge and prohibit orders, or we will explore variations of the order with authorities to ensure that these actions have minimal impact on you and your business.

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