Money laundering is the process in which the proceeds of criminal activity are made to appear as if they have come from legitimate sources. There are three stages: placement, layering and integration.
The following offences are defined in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002:
- s.327 Concealing, disguising, converting or removing from the UK any criminal property. The ‘doing’ offence.
- s.328 Entering into or becoming concerned in an arrangement which facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property. The business offence.
- s.329 Acquiring, using or possessing of criminal property.
Unless for adequate consideration i.e. services or goods have been provided at a normal rate. Criminal property for the purposes of the Act is defined as the benefit from criminal conduct where the Defendant knew or suspected that the property originated from criminal conduct. Whether a Defendant knew or suspected it is a subjective test and therefore only the actual knowledge or suspicion held by the Defendant should be taken into consideration.
There is a further offence of failure to disclose under s.330 which is particularly relevant to professionals as it requires someone who knows or suspects or has reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting that another person is engaged in money laundering to report it.
There are serious penalties available to the Court for money laundering convictions therefore it is essential that you seek competent representation. At Richardson Lissack we are well versed in money laundering cases having represented Defendants in high value and complicated cases, including those charged as conspiracies.