R v EM  Southwark Crown Court
EM was being pursued by the Crown for an increase in the realisable amount that is payable under a confiscation order, pursuant to section 22 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”), following a substantive conviction for fraud. The Crown had sought an increase in the realisable amount of more than £160,000.
Following successful representations and lengthy correspondence, and the dogged determination of Simon Kopik, the order sought was significantly reduced. The substantial reduction amounted to an almost 72% decrease from the original amount sought.
Most significantly, however, Shearman Bowen were also able to secure an undertaking on the part of the Crown. Described by the Crown as novel and previously unheard of, the undertaking prohibits the Crown from revisiting for confiscation purposes the equity in a property held by our client for the benefit of his child. This will preserve a stable home for our client’s child. Demonstrating the wide-reaching effect of confiscation following criminal proceedings, the resolution of the confiscation order is of significant benefit to our client and his family.
Confiscation orders can follow proceedings brought by any prosecuting authority, and are typical in fraud, drugs, and organised and serious crime cases – the proceedings are designed to calculate the value of unlawfully obtained property/funds and the individual’s ability to pay that amount. They are often exceptionally complex and have wide-reaching effects on an individual’s liberty and family life.
Section 22 POCA applications are particularly disruptive for individuals and their families. They can come out of the blue many years after the substantive proceedings were concluded and after the individual has turned their life around in a legitimate way.
Shearman Bowen has expertise in confiscation/POCA proceedings spanning over 20 years. The team are well-versed in all aspects of confiscation matters and are dedicated to minimising the effect of the legislation on our clients.