PROCEEDS OF CRIME
Proceeds of Crime Defence Lawyers | Leading Law Firm
Proceeds of crime matters, be they civil proceedings or criminal proceedings, are complicated and can have substantial repercussions financially and criminally. We are here to help you to navigate these matters and ensure the best result.
“Proceeds of crime” refer to any property, cash, benefits, or other assets gained through criminal activity.
Proceedings can be brought to seize proceeds of crime, even if there are no criminal proceedings on foot. The focus of the legislation is to deter crime by targeting any financial gain associated therein.
The Crimes Act 1900 also makes it a criminal offence to deal in proceeds of crime.
Criminal Assets Recovery Act
Under the Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990, proceedings can be brought by the NSW Crime Commission to control and seize purported proceeds of crime. These proceedings are civil rather than criminal proceedings and as such different evidentiary rules apply.
Under the legislation the following orders can be sought:
A restraining order is often the first order sought in these types of proceedings. The order provides that the subject is unable to dispose or otherwise deal with any property named in the order. The orders may name items of value such as houses or cars. An order can be sought when police reasonably believe a person has engaged in a serious criminal offence and the person has an interest in the property.
“Serious criminal offences” include, but are not limited to, drug trafficking offences, drug supply and cultivation, fraud, tax evasion, blackmail, corruption and homicide.
The focus of the order is to identify assets and restrict them from being sold or given away to ensure that there is sufficient property to satisfy any future forfeiture orders.
Assets Forfeiture Order
If the Court is satisfied that you have an interest in the relevant property, and that you have engaged in serious criminal activities within the period of six years the Court may make assets forfeiture orders, forfeiting the restrained property to the state.
Any seized property will pass to the NSW Trustee and Guardian to be sold.
Proceeds Assessment Order
If the Court that is satisfied that that you have engaged in serious criminal activity, but sufficient have not been restrained to pay to the state, an order can instead be made for a proceeds assessment order which require you to pay to the state the value of the proceeds derived from the criminal activity within the last six years.
Unexplained Wealth Order
If the Court finds that you have wealth ($250,000 in money or $2,000,000 otherwise) in excess of your lawfully acquired wealth, and they find that you have a reasonable suspicion of committing a serious crime related activity, then an order may be for payment.
In these proceedings the onus turns on the person to explain their unexplained wealth and satisfy the Court that it is legitimately acquired.
Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
Sections 193B – 193D of the Crimes Act 1900 make it a criminal offence to the deal with proceeds of crime. “Deal with” means receiving, possessing, concealing, or disposing of, bringing or sending out of NSW, or directly or indirectly engaging in a transaction.
If a person is found to have reckless dealt with proceeds of crime the maximum of penalty is 10 years imprisonment. If a person is found to have knowingly dealt with proceeds of crime the maximum penalty is 15 years imprisonment. If a person is found to have concealed proceeds of crime the maximum penalty is 20 years imprisonment.
The Crimes Act 1900 also captures dealing in property where there is “reasonable grounds” to suspect the property is proceeds of crime, albeit with a much lower maximum penalty.
Green & Associates Solicitors Experience and Success
- In addition to the below, we have had $50,000 returned to a client after being charged with proceeds of crime in connection with commercial drug supply, other drug possession, possession of goods in custody, weapons and firearms, even after pleading guilty to the drug supply charges;
- Our defence lawyers have raised successful defences to an application for possession of a client’s house even though it was raided and contained a pill press, clandestine lab operating, marijuana and bong, firearm and the client was the only person on title with a history of prison time for drug supply almost two decades prior and no history of employment since.
Client Charged with 21 Separate Fraud Offences – Sentence Negotiation and Successful Appeal
In a recent fraud matter that carried significant financial implications on our client, our criminal defence lawyers immediately set to work, conducting a comprehensive review of the evidence, and exploring potential avenues for mitigation.
Through skilful negotiations with the prosecution, we were able to reduce the charged amount from $19,000 down to $13,000.
The case then proceeded to the Local Court, where our client was ultimately sentenced to a Community Corrections Order for a period of nine months. While this outcome represented a positive step in reducing the impact of the charges, we believed that a more favorable resolution was possible.
With this conviction in mind, our legal team appealed the sentence to the District Court, seeking a more lenient outcome that would not result in a criminal conviction for our client. Our efforts were rewarded with a Conditional Release Order for two years. This result was particularly significant as it meant that our client could move forward without the burden of a criminal record and its associated consequences.
Our success in negotiating the reduced charge and securing a Conditional Release Order in the District Court marked a significant legal victory, allowing our client to put this legal ordeal behind them and maintain their future prospects and opportunities.
At Green & Associates Solicitors, we act for the full range of matters that relate to employment law. We are uniquely placed to advise and act for any person or business.
We provide in-house advice to companies on a range of matters, including:
- employment-law issues (i.e. enforcing or dispute a restraint of trade clause for previous or new employees);
- compliance and regulatory issues (i.e. licencing and underquoting breaches)
- criminal matters;
- property matters;
- defamation proceedings; and
- all types of commercial matters (i.e. drafting shareholder agreements).