The POCA Confiscation Series
This course comprises a series of 4 bite-size webinars dealing with aspects of Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) confiscation. Each webinar comes complete with authorities and a problem question to consolidate your knowledge.
Part 1 - Making a Confiscation Order
Prosecutors and investigators make money from POCA confiscation orders if they can enforce them. Defendants who fail to pay up face imprisonment. So, both sides have an incentive to understand how confiscation orders are made and what can go wrong.
This webinar looks at the power to make such an order, the limited power to refuse to make an order, procedure - who serves what and when? Is hearsay admissible? What is the burden of proof? Whom is that burden upon? How much are the prosecution looking for? Can an order be made in absence? Can it be varied?
Part 2 - Criminal Lifestyle or Particular Criminal Conduct?
When making a confiscation order, a court must first ascertain whether the defendant has what POCA calls a " criminal lifestyle" or whether the defendant benefits solely from his "particular criminal, conduct" i.e. the offence(s) he has committed in these proceedings. Once this is established, the court can then calculate the order. Knowing which basis applies is important as the former can lead to confiscation in a sum equivalent to all the defendant has owned, spend and received in the last 6 years.
Aimed at both prosecution and defence, the webinar will set out the tests and the case law which has developed as a result. Consideration is also given to the relevance of each basis when making a charging decision or considering pleas.
Part 3 - How Much are the Prosecution After?
This session will explain the concepts of "benefit" and " recoverable amount" under POCA. This is the maximum the Prosecutor can extract today. We will consider how that figure is calculated looking at the statutory provisions and case law. The webinar considers when to raise arguments over the benefit figure, how to counter such arguments and case law.
Part 4 - How Much Has He Got?
Building on the earlier webinars in this series, we now turn to look at the concept of the "available amount" under s9. In other words, what is this defendant worth? Using case law, you will learn the definition of " available", what is or is not " available", how to value assets, what constitutes a " tainted gift" and what is or is not " free property".
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