POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002)

The Proceeds of Crime 2002 aims to remove following a finding of guilt or a plea to the same, any benefit that has been derived by a defendant.

Subject to certain conditions, HMRC prosecutors will apply for a confiscation order, which includes a "lifestyle order".

This works as follows: -

1. Criminal Benefit

HMRC prosecutors set out the benefit that has been derived from the evasion of tax or the evasion of duty.

2. Assumptions

HMRC prosecutors and HMRC investigators can review all moneys received for six years preceding the date of conviction and require a defendant to account for it. If not accounted for, that figure is added to the Criminal benefit figure. This increases the amount that can be claimed. If third parties such a spouse or part owner of property can claim their legitimate share.

3. "Available Amount"

The Court can only order you to pay an amount that you have in net assets at the date of confiscation order (usually months after a final hearing).(anything transferred away is captured in Assumptions)

4. Hidden Assets

If the Court decides that there are hidden assets, this figure is added to the available amount above and is the sum that has to be paid.

MJP solicitors have a specialist POCA department to deal with Proceeds of Crime Cases POCA cases. We use Expert Forensic accountants are routinely instructed by MJP solicitors in the following ways: -

  • to challenge the evidence of HMRC prosecutors and HMRC investigators
  • to provide expert witness evidence for the defence
  • to prepare S18 statement under Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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