‘Proceeds of Crime’ home confiscated

Posted: 17th August 2011

A house that a woman who was engaged in criminal activity gave to her six-year-old son was ordered to be confiscated recently under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

The house was given to the son by his fraudster mother in 1996, a year after she began offending. She was later convicted of five counts of theft and a confiscation order of £72,000 was made in 2004. The confiscation order remained unsatisfied and the victim of the crime had not been recompensed, as the compensation was to be paid from sums realised under the confiscation order. The Crown Prosecution Service therefore sought an order to force the sale of the property.
A receivership order was granted despite the fact that the property itself wasCottage not the proceeds of crime, but a gift made after the woman’s criminal activity began. The judge decided that it would be right to exercise his discretion in this case as there had been a long period of delay and a long history of failure to pay the confiscation order.

Under the POCA, property which is either the proceeds of crime or has been acquired from the proceeds of crime is subject to confiscation. The fact that the criminal gifts the property away, as in this case, does not prevent its confiscation