The Applicant had been made the subject of a Confiscation Order in 2013 following conviction for dishonesty offences. In 2014, the Order was quashed by the Court of Appeal as the Order had been made in error under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The Order was thus substituted for a Confiscation Order under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
The Applicant had maintained that contained within the available amount calculation (and thus deemed to be realisable assets) were items which had been placed, by the conduct of third parties, beyond his reach. The assets included speed boats, several vehicles and the like.
The Applicant had faced several enforcement hearings and the risk of a custodial default term being activated. The Magistrates’ Court were persuaded to adjourn the case by Messrs Powell Spencers and Partners notwithstanding the age of the matter and non-payment, such that advice could be secured from specialist POCA Counsel.
Mr Witcher considered the matter, and thereafter was successful in obtaining a Certificate of Inadequacy from the High Court; a relatively rare occurrence. Thereafter, following a hearing before the Crown Court (to decide the value of the inadequacy) the Judge was persuaded to reduce the available amount by over 50%.
Colin Witcher is a member of Chambers’ Crime and Regulatory Team, specialising in financial crime.