The Practical Lawyer


Proceeds of crime – benefit

The appellant’s criminal conduct was such that he had obtained the money and therefore benefited from it. 

A was convicted of conspiracy to disguise, convert or transfer criminal property under ss1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977, and sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Also imposed was a Serious Crime Prevention Order to run for two years from his release into open conditions.

Confiscation proceedings followed, and A was made the subject of an order under s6 POCA in the sum of £104,228, to be paid within six months. He unsuccessfully appealed the confiscation order. Thirlwall LJ summarised the statutory framework and made clear this was not a criminal lifestyle case. Rather, the central issue was whether A – an experienced foreign exchange dealer – had benefited from his criminal conduct under s6(4)(c) POCA.

The court ruled that the fact that A had no legal interest in the bank account to which the money was transferred did not mean he did not obtain the funds he controlled. That he was not a signatory on the bank account was neither here nor there.

The CA also rejected A’s assertion that the amount of the order was disproportionate, unfairly depriving him of property bought with injury compensation to provide for his future security. The trial judge had considered the argument regarding proportionality in the light of A’s personal circumstances before coming to the amount of the final order, and her approach was not erroneous. R v Fulton [2019] EWCA Crim 163. Source:


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