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Do I obey the law or not?

Do I obey the law or not?

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I am working as a partner in a small partnership with my dad. Unfortunately I think my dad is doing something which will be in conflict with the Money laundering act.

Any advice on what should I do?

Replies (56)

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By Steve McQueen
24th Sep 2012 18:07

are you an accountant/lawyer...

...or other professional who has a duty to report?

 

If you are not, why do you think you need to report?

 

Is your Father doing something that could send you both the jail?

 

Steve

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By aaron01
24th Sep 2012 18:15

Talk to the old man

Could you not speak with your Dad and get him to stop doing whatever you think he is doing wrong?

You would be better off leaving the partnership, in my opinion.

 

Are you obliged to report any such activities based on your professional qualifications? 

Aaron

 

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David Winch
By David Winch
24th Sep 2012 18:22

Private message

Susie

I have sent you a private message via AWEB.

David

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By merlyn
24th Sep 2012 19:26

Tipping Off

aaron01 would that not count as "tipping off" ?

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Replying to HalFC:
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By aaron01
24th Sep 2012 19:50

Not so sure it is 'tipping off'

I don't believe that it would be considered as 'Tipping off' as this would have been to persuade her dad to not make the money laundering offence. What do you think?

 

Regards

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By merlyn
24th Sep 2012 19:58

past tense
Depends if the offence has already been commited I think.

As the OP stated that they thinks their dad is doing something which may be an issue then I assumed it had already been done, in which case it would be tipping off, if he hasn't actually done it yet then there is nothing to report.

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Replying to johnjenkins:
David Winch
By David Winch
24th Sep 2012 20:40

Tipping-off???

merlyn wrote:
Depends if the offence has already been commited I think. As the OP stated that they thinks their dad is doing something which may be an issue then I assumed it had already been done, in which case it would be tipping off, if he hasn't actually done it yet then there is nothing to report.

Sorry, I don't agree that it would be tipping off.

Have a look at the relevant sections of PoCA 2002 ss333A - E.

In this case (I assume) no Suspicious Activity Report has yet been made (either internally to the firm's MLRO or externally to SOCA) and no investigation by the authorities is underway or being contemplated by them.  So I cannot see any danger of a tipping-off offence.

Even so if the conversation the OP is to have with her Dad is along the lines of "Pack the cash in a suitcase and get the next plane to Puerto Rico before I drop you in it" - then that is not a conversation I would recommend the OP to have.  But I don't think that is the sort of conversation which is being suggested.

But straight talking with her Dad (and in other cases straight talking with clients) with the intention of checking that they are not being dishonest or - if they are - counselling them against future dishonesty, does not amount to tipping-off.  (However if a Suspicious Activity Report has been made I generally would not disclose to  the suspected wrongdoer the existence of that report.)

David

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By merlyn
24th Sep 2012 21:26

Tipping off

Think you are right on that one, it seems tipping off can only occur once a report has been filled and an investigation is under way.

"The requirement to report suspicions is not much use if the suspected person is tipped off to the fact that s/he is under investigation. In order to preserve the integrity of an investigation, the offence of ‘tipping off’ occurs when information or any other matter which might prejudice the investigation is disclosed to the suspect of the investigation (or anyone else) by someone who knows or suspects (or, in the case of terrorism, has reasonable cause to suspect) that: a police investigation into money laundering has begun or is about to begin, or the police have been informed of suspicious activities, or a disclosure has been made to another employee under internal reporting procedures."

 

However failure to report your suspicions is an offence in itself, so may apply in this case if someone else reports your Dad or he gets caught.

 

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By Midlands Accountancy
24th Sep 2012 22:37

This is rubbish.

What kind of a "law" forces someone to drop their own father in it ?

Forget filing a report and start lining up all the reasons why you haven't, shouldn't, or couldn't.file a report.  

Could you live with yourself if you were instrumental in financially ruining your own father, possibly sending him to prison?  

Talk to him, tell him the position you are in, resign from the partnership and develop amnesia.

 

Note.

This is not a "legal" suggestion, but a common sense one. Common sense and plain old fashioned decency being two things the mental midgets who devise these damn silly laws seem to be entirely lacking in.

 

 

 

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Replying to Harrison88:
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By merlyn
24th Sep 2012 22:41

that's the law!

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

What kind of a "law" forces someone to drop their own father in it ?

Forget filing a report and start lining up all the reasons why you haven't, shouldn't, or couldn't.file a report.  

Could you live with yourself if you were instrumental in financially ruining your own father, possibly sending him to prison?  

Talk to him, tell him the position you are in, resign from the partnership and develop amnesia.

 

Note.

This is not a "legal" suggestion, but a common sense one. Common sense and plain old fashioned decency being two things the mental midgets who devise these damn silly laws seem to be entirely lacking in.

 

 

 

It's the law of the UK, by the same reasoning you are arguing that if he commited a major crime (not saying money laundering isn't) such as murder then his family should turn a blind eye ?

We don't know all the facts and he may very well not be comitting an offence, but to say you should ignore the law because it may drop a family member in it just isn't great advice.

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Replying to Harrison88:
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By Midlands Accountancy
24th Sep 2012 23:38

Selective

 

[/quote] It's the law of the UK, by the same reasoning you are arguing that if he commited a major crime (not saying money laundering isn't) such as murder then his family should turn a blind eye ? We don't know all the facts and he may very well not be comitting an offence, but to say you should ignore the law because it may drop a family member in it just isn't great advice.[/quote]

 

 

 

Just because its "the law" doesn't mean it's a good law.

If your wife drove at 40mph in a 30mph area would you report her to the police? Why not - "its the law".  Or do you pick and choose which laws you obey?

 

Comparing murder with some kind of tax fiddle is hardly a reasonable comparison, and even then would you actually grass up your own parent? 

 

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Replying to david wilks:
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By merlyn
24th Sep 2012 23:49

not selective at all

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

 

It's the law of the UK, by the same reasoning you are arguing that if he commited a major crime (not saying money laundering isn't) such as murder then his family should turn a blind eye ? We don't know all the facts and he may very well not be comitting an offence, but to say you should ignore the law because it may drop a family member in it just isn't great advice.[/quote]

 

 

 

Just because its "the law" doesn't mean it's a good law.

If your wife drove at 40mph in a 30mph area would you report her to the police? Why not - "its the law".  Or do you pick and choose which laws you obey?

 

Comparing murder with some kind of tax fiddle is hardly a reasonable comparison, and even then would you actually grass up your own parent? 

 

[/quote]

There is no law saying I have to report my wife (if I had one) for driving at 40.

There is a law saying you have to report suspicions of money laundering and in some cases it's far from a 'tax fiddle' as it covers things like laundering drug money, providing funds to terrorists etc

But as I will say again we have no information about the severity of the alleged offence, so can't comment if it would potentially be money laundering or not.

However if I do ever get involved with criminal activity and need some money laundered at least I know midlands accountancy will help me out.

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By George Attazder
24th Sep 2012 23:28

If it were the other way round...

... and you were being asked to advise your father how to deal with such a situation, what would you advise?

Clue: Midlands Accountant is way off!

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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 00:37

Unpaid snitches

"There is no law saying I have to report my wife (if I had one) for driving at 40".

 

Actually there is a civic duty to report crimes. And of course a moral duty, after all exceeding the speed limit could lead to serious consequences like the death of a child - who knows.

So, what you are saying is that you are not reporting "money laundering" out of some perceived moral duty,  but that you are in fact doing so out of fear of retribution by "the state" if you don't.  Why else would you report one crime and not another?  That is how dictatorships work, not "civilised" countries.  

Perhaps it's time that professional people stood up and told the government that we are not prepared to be unpaid government spies and snitches.

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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 00:45

you seem to be missing the point
Failure to report suspected money laundering is a criminal offence, it's not down to civic duty or what's morally correct, it is an offence.

The key word being suspected, you don't even have to know for sure it's going on but the law says you have to report it and that is it.

If it's a good law or not isn't up for debate, well unless you want to start a different thread.

You seem to be very cross about this whole money laundering topic, maybe you should consider a different job.

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David Winch
By David Winch
25th Sep 2012 07:09

Scottish law

The problem the OP faces (or, more correctly, one aspect of the problems which the OP faces) appears to arise from UK legislation obliging persons active in the 'regulated sector' (such as accountants offering services to the public) to report suspicions of 'money laundering' which they hold as a result of information received in the course of their work.

But in Scotland there is a much wider obligation (under s31 Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010) on ordinary members of the public to report to the authorities information which they have obtained "as a result of a close personal relationship between the person and the other person".  In other words that legislation expressly envisages wives, girlfriends, children etc 'shopping' other family members to the police - or facing criminal prosecution for not having done so.

The obligation to report arises where the reporter has obtained a benefit as a result of the (suspected) crime.

I find that a remarkable piece of legislation.  I don't know how it has been found to operate in practice - but I would be interested to hear examples of the powers being used (or threatened to be used) by the police in Scotland.

David

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By Flash Gordon
25th Sep 2012 08:00

Speeding

There would be no point reporting your wife's speeding to the police unless you had proof - it would be a clear case of he said, she said and they'd not have a hope in hell of prosecuting.

Murder on the hand - would I report a member of my family if they committed murder? Yes I probably would. Would I feel crap about it? Yes. Would I feel equally crap if I didn't? Yes. But murder is murder.

Have I reported (ex)clients for ML? Yup. If they want to commit tax fraud I won't assist them & I will report them if they're deliberately evading tax. And to clarify - I do it because their actions are immoral & illegal, NOT because I'm scared that HMRC will come and slap my wrists.

 

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Replying to pacta:
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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 09:24

Blind obedience ?

merlyn wrote:
Failure to report suspected money laundering is a criminal offence, it's not down to civic duty or what's morally correct, it is an offence. The key word being suspected, you don't even have to know for sure it's going on but the law says you have to report it and that is it. If it's a good law or not isn't up for debate, well unless you want to start a different thread. You seem to be very cross about this whole money laundering topic, maybe you should consider a different job.

 

 

You hit the nail on the head with the word “suspected”. No proof required, no evidence required, no actual knowledge required, just some vague suspicion.  If you called someone a criminal in a newspaper, letter, etcetera that would be libel, yet, the law expects you to “libel” possibly totally innocent people to SOCA.

As for “considering a different job”, I’m very happy with my job, a job I was doing long before this “big brother” approach was introduced.  You may be too young to remember when professionals acted as professionals, and, had the personal integrity to be trusted to do the right thing when circumstances warranted it without draconian threats hanging over their heads.

 

Your statement “it's not down to civic duty or what's morally correct, it’ the law” has been heard as a defense before, at Nuremburg.

 

 

 

 

Flash Gordon wrote:

There would be no point reporting your wife's speeding to the police unless you had proof - it would be a clear case of he said, she said and they'd not have a hope in hell of prosecuting.

 

 

And yet isnt that exactly what an ML report is, a case of I “suspect” but have no proof, no evidence, just “suspicion”.

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Replying to pacta:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 09:53

Using the Nazis, really ?

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

You hit the nail on the head with the word “suspected”. No proof required, no evidence required, no actual knowledge required, just some vague suspicion.  If you called someone a criminal in a newspaper, letter, etcetera that would be libel, yet, the law expects you to “libel” possibly totally innocent people to SOCA.

As for “considering a different job”, I’m very happy with my job, a job I was doing long before this “big brother” approach was introduced.  You may be too young to remember when professionals acted as professionals, and, had the personal integrity to be trusted to do the right thing when circumstances warranted it without draconian threats hanging over their heads.

 

Your statement “it's not down to civic duty or what's morally correct, it’ the law” has been heard as a defense before, at Nuremburg.

 

The law as it stands (rightly or wrongly) says that if you suspect money laundering then you have to report it, to either your money laundering office or to SOCA.

With regards to the word "suspect" this is because in some firms a junior person may suspect money laundering is going on but not have the authority or access to information in order to find out more evidence. 

 

As an example in my old firm a junior cashier spotted some financial irregularities in some client accounts, they didn't have the authority to find out anything more so reported it to the money laundering officer, they investigated and it came out that a senior director had been stealing from clients for over 10 years and laundering the cash into his own private accounts.

That is why I imagine the term suspected was included in the legislation.

 

I'm actually not that young but the money laundering regulations were brought in due to people like yourselves who liked the idea of doing what you wanted and deciding for yourselves if you should or shouldn't report illegal activity.  If everyone always did the right thing we wouldn't need any laws on this subject.

But anyway I was always taught once someone uses Hitler or the Nazis to backup their case then they have lost the argument, so thats an end to it.

 

 

 

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By ShirleyM
25th Sep 2012 08:58

This thread reminds me of many previous ones

Reporting a crime makes people a 'snitch'????????

No wonder crime is rampant (and unsolved) in this country. It is time the good guys stood up and said we want all criminals booted out of the country or some necessary part of their anatomy chopped off, rather than standing back and letting the criminals, cheats, and evaders get rich at the cost of the taxpayer.

Crime (in whatever guise) is my bugbear. It costs their victims money and heartbreak, and costs the country millions in solving the crime and bringing the criminals to justice ... and we pay for it!

A bit OTT I know, and I don't really mean they should have bits chopped off, but that strategy does work in other countries. We are far too soft on crime & criminals.

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Replying to petersaxton:
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By M Shapland
26th Sep 2012 12:19

ML reporting

I could not have put I better myself. I would extend the kickiing out of hte country to all the politicians and so call public servants who are on the take in one form or another...

I don't feel very charitable towards any of them at present when I hear all the drivel they come up with in interviews and new laws just to get votes..

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
25th Sep 2012 09:35

.

I must admit I dont understand the tribal "dont grass on your own" attitude.  It always strikes me as a very weak personality trait akin to giving in to bullies.

If something is way out of line then you try and change the behaviour, especially with family and friends, and if the best way to change that is a knock from PC plod then so be it.

It's very much a question of balance for the circumstances and it takes a lot more balls to do something than sit and keep quiet, so good on the OP for at least thinking about what to do and not keeping their head down and staying quiet.

First step of course would be to gather information. The second step to discuss the issue openly and try and resolve it, and the third step will depend on the outcome of the first two.

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By ShirleyM
25th Sep 2012 09:36

lol ..... Big Brother and Nuremburg????

... and I thought I was going OTT ;)

I doubt anyone would bother to make a SOCA report unless they were pretty sure that something dodgy was going on. Of course, there are always PITA's around, who like upsetting people and causing bother. What do you think should be done about them? Should we abandon all laws in case the PITA's use them to their own advantage?

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By andy.partridge
25th Sep 2012 09:46

Hitler and Nazis

You can begin to smell trolling whenever a thread starts to make references with a Hitler or Nazi[***] connotation! We are all better than that, surely? 

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Replying to johngroganjga:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 09:59

Godwins Law

andy.partridge wrote:

You can begin to smell trolling whenever a thread starts to make references with a Hitler or Nazi[***] connotation! We are all better than that, surely? 

 

Godwin’s Law is an internet adage that is derived from one of the earliest bits of Usenet wisdoms, which goes “if you mention Adolf Hitler or Nazis within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.”

 

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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 10:12

"just some vague suspicion"

Presumably you would also argue that anyone suspected of crime should not be arrested unless the police had concrete evidence of guilt? And that the police should immediately stop calling the accused "suspects" for fear of having libel actions brought against them?

Reporting to the ML authorities requires, at least as far as this writer is concerned, much more than a "vague" suspicion that an offence has been committed. I need to be able to demonstrate the reasons for my suspicion - "vague suspicion" is just "speculation", and as we all know speculation does not require a report.

If you called someone a criminal in a newspaper, letter, etcetera that would be libel,

And rightly so (unless of course that someone actually were a criminal)

yet, the law expects you to “libel” possibly totally innocent people to SOCA.

No it doesn't - it requires one to report instances where one has good reason to suspect that someone may have committed an offence. If that someone is innocent then they should have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately it will always be the case that no matter what the area of law, some innocents will get caught up. That is a small price to pay for the greater good of the protection of the majority. The alternative is simply to do away with legislation and abolish the police force.

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Replying to marks:
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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 10:28

Nuremburg defence

merlyn wrote:

andy.partridge wrote:

You can begin to smell trolling whenever a thread starts to make references with a Hitler or Nazi[***] connotation! We are all better than that, surely?

Godwin’s Law is an internet adage that is derived from one of the earliest bits of Usenet wisdoms, which goes “if you mention Adolf Hitler or Nazis within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.”

Who mentioned Hitler:? The term "Nuremburg defense" is a well know often used shorthand for anyone who claims that they did something morally wrong because the "rules" / "law" said they should. The term is used in Parliament (look it up in Hansard), it s used in the courts, it is used in everyday conversation. It therefore seems to me that your reference to "Godwins Law" (whoever or whatever Godwin is) is really an admission that you cannot morally justify the money laundering regulations in their current form and are relying on the Nuremburg defense and using "Godwins Law" as an ecuse for not justifying your actions when challenged

 

 

BKD wrote:

Presumably you would also argue that anyone suspected of crime should not be arrested unless the police had concrete evidence of guilt?

 

 

Actually, before making an arrest, a police officer is required to have “reasonable suspicion”, and that is defined as “more than mere speculation”.

 

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 10:42

Suspicion

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

 Actually, before making an arrest, a police officer is required to have “reasonable suspicion”, and that is defined as “more than mere speculation”.

 

My point exactly - someone making a ML report is required to have "reasonable suspicion", and that is "more than mere speculation". There will always be a few over-zealous professionals that make reports based on inadequate suspicion - but such actions should not be confused with what the law actually requires.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 10:35

You just don't get it

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

Who mentioned Hitler:? The term "Nuremburg defense" is a well know often used shorthand for anyone who claims that they did something morally wrong because the "rules" / "law" said they should. The term is used in Parliament (look it up in Hansard), it s used in the courts, it is used in everyday conversation. It therefore seems to me that your reference to "Godwins Law" (whoever or whatever Godwin is) is really an admission that you cannot morally justify the money laundering regulations in their current form and are relying on the Nuremburg defense and using "Godwins Law" as an ecuse for not justifying your actions when challenged

 

Oh I see sorry I didn't realise this had become a moral argument about if the money laundering regulations are right or wrong. 

The money laundering regulations are what they are, and regardless if you like them or hate them if you fail to report suspected money laundering then you are comitting an offence yourself.

The OP asked if they should report their father and the answer is that it's up to them, but if they choose not to on moral grounds this won't stand up in a court if they end up being done for it.

 

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Replying to DJKL:
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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 11:00

Merlyn you seem extremely angry

merlyn wrote:

Oh I see sorry I didn't realise this had become a moral argument about if the money laundering regulations are right or wrong.

The money laundering regulations are what they are, and regardless if you like them or hate them if you fail to report suspected money laundering then you are comitting an offence yourself.

The OP asked if they should report their father and the answer is that it's up to them, but if they choose not to on moral grounds this won't stand up in a court if they end up being done for it.

 

 

Firstly morals and actions cannot be separated. The law does not usually force someone to act against an accepted moral code. 

For example the Halal method of slaughtering is illegal under UK law, but, because of certain groups moral objections a dispensation was granted to that section of society. The law was not changed, but one section of society was given permission to break it (dispensation) based on the moral code taught by their religion. Technically if a non muslim purchases halal meat then they and the store commit an offence because the dispensation does not apply to non muslims.  I don’t see thousands of non muslims being prosecuted, do you ?

Similarly with money laundering. Whilst technically one should shop one’s own mother (or father), in practice it is highly unlikely that a court would uphold a prosecution for not doing so assuming that the OP is not benefitting from the proceeds in some way.

 

My advice from the start has been that in these peculiar circumstances the OP should tackle her father about the issue, obtain a satisfactory explanation, or, resign from the partnership and have nothing to do with it.

Assuming her father is not funding the local branch of Al Queda she should leave it at that. Unless of course she wants to destroy her family, which is clearly what would happen if the reporting course was followed.

 

 

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 11:31

Family relationships

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

 

Whilst technically one should shop one’s own mother (or father), in practice it is highly unlikely that a court would uphold a prosecution for not doing so assuming that the OP is not benefitting from the proceeds in some way.

I disagree. In the case of Halal slaughtering, you refer to a specific dispensation/exemption. There is not, as far as I am aware, any dispensation or exemption in the monely laundering code relating to family members. If, in preparing my son's accounts and tax returns, I become aware  that he is raking in £100ks through peddling drugs I don't think I'd want to test the Court's discretion in the event that I choose not to report him. Of course I'd want to have words with the boy (my moral obligation) but would also need to consider filing a report (my legal obligation).

Perhaps our resident expert on such matters - DW - can comment on this issue (I note that he has communicated privately with the OP, but it would be interesting to hear his views - based on practical experience or otherwise - of cases involving family members).

EDIT - typed as DW was posting above :)

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Replying to Eric T:
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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 12:00

Fiddling or fraud

BKD wrote:

I disagree. In the case of Halal slaughtering, you refer to a specific dispensation/exemption. There is not, as far as I am aware, any dispensation or exemption in the monely laundering code relating to family members. If, in preparing my son's accounts and tax returns, I become aware  that he is raking in £100ks through peddling drugs I don't think I'd want to test the Court's discretion in the event that I choose not to report him. Of course I'd want to have words with the boy (my moral obligation) but would also need to consider filing a report (my legal obligation).

 

 

I dont think the OP is referring to £100ks worth of drugs.

Whilst there is no dispensation for family members (other than spouse cant be forced to give evidence against husband/wife), I don't believe a court would expect a daughter to "shop" her own father for a tax fiddle.

I suppose it depends where you draw the line between what could be called "fiddling" and organised fraud.

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Replying to TinaPS:
By ShirleyM
25th Sep 2012 12:24

Complicit?

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

Whilst there is no dispensation for family members (other than spouse cant be forced to give evidence against husband/wife), I don't believe a court would expect a daughter to "shop" her own father for a tax fiddle.

I suppose it depends where you draw the line between what could be called "fiddling" and organised fraud.

There is also a big difference between not reporting a fiddle/crime, and being a part of it. Susie is a partner with her father, so turning a blind eye could cause her serious problems.

David has given the best advice.

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Replying to TinaPS:
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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 12:34

Assumption ....

... is the mother of all F ............

 

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

I dont think the OP is referring to £100ks worth of drugs.

How do you deduce that from "I think my dad is doing something which will be in conflict with the Money laundering act"

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

I don't believe a court would expect a daughter to "shop" her own father for a tax fiddle.

And if that tax 'fiddle' involved £5m of underdeclared tax? Again, you might assume that the OP is not involved in such numbers. Point is - the law, an ass[***] or not, requires a report to be made in prescribed circumstances. In absence of any prescribed exemption/dispensation, one chooses to disregard the law at their peril.

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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 10:21

@merlyn

Do you suspect that someone has broken Godwin's Law? Be careful - you may be accused of libel  ;¬)

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Replying to Rebecca Cave:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 10:26

Suspect

BKD wrote:

Do you suspect that someone has broken Godwin's Law? Be careful - you may be accused of libel  ;¬)

Luckily in this case I have solid proof ;-)

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By Henry Osadzinski
25th Sep 2012 10:23

Agreed

Godwin's Law is in full effect, I'm afraid.

There are a lot of issues relating to Susie2012's question but please do keep posts constructive and helpful :-)

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 10:28

Personal Choice

Henry Osadzinski wrote:

Godwin's Law is in full effect, I'm afraid.

There are a lot of issues relating to Susie2012's question but please do keep posts constructive and helpful :-)

 

I think the ultimate answer to Susie2012's question is -  "It's up to you as to if you should report it or not, however you should to be aware that you may be comitting an offence yourself if you choose not to"

 

 

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By Susie2012
25th Sep 2012 11:01

Thank you everyone

This is the first time I use accountancy web and I truly appreciate everyone's feedback.

I am in difficult position, legally and emotionally. 

I think the main problem I have is I believe in our profession we need to have high integrity and work in an ethical manner. Hence his old fashion way of working is definitely does not fit with mine.

I don't think he is even aware his action may be considered as ML offence, despite the fact that he had attended CDP courses on that subject.

I don't believe talking to my dad is "tipping him off", as I am only updating him with the recent legislation.

Once again everyone, thank you for your feedback.

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Replying to Drew52:
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By merlyn
25th Sep 2012 11:12

no problem

Susie2012 wrote:

This is the first time I use accountancy web and I truly appreciate everyone's feedback.

I am in difficult position, legally and emotionally. 

I think the main problem I have is I believe in our profession we need to have high integrity and work in an ethical manner. Hence his old fashion way of working is definitely does not fit with mine.

I don't think he is even aware his action may be considered as ML offence, despite the fact that he had attended CDP courses on that subject.

I don't believe talking to my dad is "tipping him off", as I am only updating him with the recent legislation.

Once again everyone, thank you for your feedback.

We covered 'tipping off' and it wouldn't be an issue as no report has been made, however failing to report your suspicions may be.

Hope you get it all sorted.

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David Winch
By David Winch
25th Sep 2012 11:30

My advice in a nutshell would be:

1)  Ideally father and daughter should make an appointment to see a solicitor (with criminal law expertise) together to discuss openly, fully and truthfully what has been going on and what should be done about it.

2)  Failing that, daughter should go on her own to see the solicitor.

David

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By Susie2012
25th Sep 2012 13:16

Definitely not drug monies or millions of under declared tax

Hi everyone, it is definitely nothing to do with drugs or millions of pounds of underdeclared tax.

Sorry for giving everyone the wrong impression. It was what he might have done prior to the partnership. 

 

 

 

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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 13:43

BKD wrote:

BKD wrote:

How do you deduce that from "I think my dad is doing something which will be in conflict with the Money laundering act"

 

By using common sense. There is nothing in the OP’s statements to suggest this is some sort of “organised crime”, rather the opposite.

 

 

 

 

BKD wrote:

And if that tax 'fiddle' involved £5m of underdeclared tax? Again, you might assume that the OP is not involved in such numbers. Point is - the law, an ass[***] or not, requires a report to be made in prescribed circumstances. In absence of any prescribed exemption/dispensation, one chooses to disregard the law at their peril.

 

My statement -

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

I suppose it depends where you draw the line between what could be called "fiddling" and organised fraud

I suggest makes it quite clear that I would not consider £5m to be a “fiddle”.

 

You are quite correct in describing this particular law as an “ass[***]”.  Any law that is so unclear as to raise as many questions and doubts as this law does after so many years, is, by definition, extremely bad law. 

It seems to me that “I cannot believe that my dad would do anything wrong, therefore I have no suspicion” would be a fairly complete defense. The law requires a reasonable suspicion, or, it requires that another person “in your position” would have suspected.

 

I go back to my original suggestion. Speak to him, clear it up, or, resign from the partnership and forget it.  

 

Don’t rely on a report being confidential because that is complete bunkem.

I reported a client for a sizeable fraud. I subsequently obtained a transcript of the intial police interview of the client. The police officers first words to the client were ...... “Your accountant tells us that .......”.  So much for confidentiallity.

 

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By BKD
25th Sep 2012 15:03

Reasonable suspicion

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

It seems to me that “I cannot believe that my dad would do anything wrong, therefore I have no suspicion” would be a fairly complete defense.

Perhaps so, but a comment on a public forum along the lines of  "I think my dad is doing something which will be in conflict with the Money laundering act" kind of knocks that defense (sic) on the head.

But I think it's time for me to leave this discussion - some familiar hallmarks appearing.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Susie2012
25th Sep 2012 14:55

Thank you BKD.

I have realised there is some error in my choice of words at the beginning.

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Replying to Ruddles:
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By andy.partridge
25th Sep 2012 15:49

Interested to know

Midlands Accountancy wrote:

I reported a client for a sizeable fraud. I subsequently obtained a transcript of the intial police interview of the client. The police officers first words to the client were ...... “Your accountant tells us that .......”.  So much for confidentiallity.

Interested to know how you got a transcript of the initial interview.

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Replying to Portia Nina Levin:
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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 16:01

Police complaints

andy.partridge wrote:

Interested to know how you got a transcript of the initial interview.

 

I became aware of it when the (ex) client was prosecuted and the transcript of the initial interview was read out by the officer as part of the prosecution evidence.  I subsequently filed a complaint about it and the forces professional standards departrment  provided a patial transcript (the relevent section of the interview) as part of their investigation into why this disclosure was made. I did eventually receive an apology from the force, which as far as I am concerned was too little too late.

Hopefully by filing a complaint it may stop it happening to someone else.

 

 

 

 

 

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By Flash Gordon
25th Sep 2012 14:54

Complete defence?

I never realised that 'I cannot believe that....' would stand up in court - excellent!

'Sorry your honour but I cannot believe my dog would savage a person to death'

'No problem Flash, you may leave the court without a stain on your or the dog's character'

'Terribly sorry officer but I cannot believe that my car could have exceeded the speed limit'

'That's okay Flash, must be our mistake'

'I cannot believe that my father would do anything wrong. He must be funding his 6 houses, fleet of Rolls Royces and Lear jet from winnings on the horses even though he can't usually pick the winner in a one-horse race'

I think the OP might want to follow some of the other excellent advice. I reckon her dad failed to report her mum for speeding :)

(Seriously though Susie, talk to him but make sure you cover your back, just in case.)

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Replying to Tornado:
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By Susie2012
25th Sep 2012 14:57

Thank you Flash... 

I will definitely take your advice.

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By Midlands Accountancy
25th Sep 2012 15:09

-

It seems that some people mistake sarcasm for valid argument so I will leave them to their own prejudices.

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