Home and away

Suppose John has been convicted in the UK of conspiracy to cheat the revenue in connection with MTIC / VAT fraud. He also traded abroad and is said to have been doing the same thing there.

When the time comes for John's confiscation hearing, are his activities abroad of any relevance? After all, in this example he has been convicted of cheating HMRC, not a foreign tax authority.

From reading s76 POCA 2002, I get the feeling that it's not relevant because it happened outside England & Wales, but is there a catch here?

 

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davidwinch's picture

Worldwide

davidwinch | | Permalink

Brian

In this (hypothetical) situation the conduct engaged in by the defendant overseas 'would be criminal conduct if it had occurred in England' (for example it would have been contrary to Fraud Act 2006 if it had occurred in England) so, by s76(1)(b) it falls within the definition of "criminal conduct".

The defendant's 'general criminal conduct' is defined by s76(2) as "all his criminal conduct".

So the conduct overseas forms part of his 'general criminal conduct' in my view.

David

davidwinch's picture

And another thing . . .

davidwinch | | Permalink

As 'John' has been convicted of VAT fraud let us say he has been convicted of criminal conduct (the VAT fraud) continuing over a period of at least 6 months from which he has obtained a benefit of at least £5,000.

In that event 'John' has a 'criminal lifestyle' - per s75 PoCA 2002.

It follows that any 'property' (i.e. money or other assets) 'transferred' to 'John' since the 'relevant day' (normally 6 years before the date on which he was charged) will be assumed to be benefit of his 'general criminal conduct' unless and until he can satisfy the court (on the balance of probabilities) to the contrary - s10(2).

That would include any 'property' obtained by 'John' anywhere in the world since the 'relevant day'  - see s84(1).

David

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