Often at the bottom of an article about fraudulent traders, drug dealers or criminal gangs you will see something to the effect of: ‘A proceeds of crime investigation has been launched to recover the profits relating to the illegal activity.’
But while this might come as somewhat of an afterthought in the reporting of criminal news, proceeds of crime investigations are a critical part of the justice system. Essentially the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 was established to ensure anyone who has made money by operating on the wrong side of the law does not get to financially benefit from their criminal dealings, with the law able to reclaim what has been earned.
This might sound simple; however there are various complications that can arise when it comes to determining exactly how much needs to be handed back over in a proceeds of crime case. That is why Frenkels Forensics is often called upon to provide expert financial accounting services in these cases.
First and foremost one must be able to clearly calculate how much money has come from the offence, which is rarely straightforward. After all, there are not usually receipts or pay slips on hand!
Checking bank accounts, transactions, investments and the full range of assets can offer a much clearer idea of the money that has been earned by the crime. Forensic accountants are trained to follow the trial of evidence like this to arrive at a much clearer picture of what can be claimed.
Importantly, often the individuals being targeted with the proceeds of crime act will have other, legitimate sources of income. So if they have been found guilty of fraudulent or illegal activity over a six-month period, it is vital that the money they have legally earned through other jobs during that same period is not confiscated.
For expert help in a criminal case involving proceeds of crime or any other type of financial dispute contact Frenkels Forensics for an independent appraisal.
We can help assist individuals, companies, lawyers, barristers and accountants in conducting a full investigation into accounts to ensure a fair settlement for the prosecution or defendant.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for advice on any aspect of forensic accountancy, then do get in touch via Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn or by visiting our website www.frenkels.com
By Vitek Frenkel – find me via Google+.