What is obtained "as a result of or in connection with" a crime?
The Court of Appeal has issued conflicting decisions concerning the meaning of property (i.e. assets) obtained "as a result of or in connection with" a crime.
Now you might think this is a simple issue - but it's not.
Just because there is a connection between an asset being obtained by a person and a criminal act by that person does not necessarily mean that the asset was obtained "in connection with" the crime. Nor is it the case that where a criminal action enables an asset to be obtained then the asset must have been obtained "as a result" of the crime.
Take the example of Mr Waller. He planned a little, er, shopping trip to the continent to pick up some cheap tobacco - not just for himself. He collected £12,000 from his family and friends and also took £2,000 of his own money. Whilst there he purchased £14,000 worth of hand rolling tobacco (that was 250 kilograms of it) loaded it into the boot of his car and drove back to England via the Channel Tunnel - scrupulously declaring a couple of boxes of wine to the nice people from Customs.
Alas they opened the boot - et voila!
Mr Waller was convicted of being knowingly engaged in the evasion of duty on the tobacco. Then he was subject to confiscation.
In 2008 the Court of Appeal held that the tobacco had been obtained by Mr Waller "in connection with" the evasion of duty. So his 'benefit' in confiscation terms was the cost of the tobacco, £14,000, plus the duty evaded, a further £27,505 - making £41,505 in total.
In 2012 the Court of Appeal looked again at the case and held that the 2008 decision "was clearly wrong". His benefit should only have been the £27,505 duty evaded.
I have written an article about this on my blog and, as you might guess, I don't think either of those figures of benefit is correct. I would go for £29,505.
If you are interested you can read the blog article HERE (and can comment on it on my blog).