Keith - Confiscation - Illegal money lending, benefit fraud and money laundering
Keith had been convicted of illegal money lending - being a 'loan shark' - over a number of years and also of benefit fraud and money laundering (by converting monies received in repayment of illegal loans). It was alleged that, as well as lending money without the necessary Consumer Credit Act licence, he had charged extortionate interest rates and had used threats of violence and intimidation in collecting loan repayments. He was subject to confiscation proceedings on the basis of a 'criminal lifestyle' and the prosecutor alleged that Keith had 'hidden assets'.
I was instructed by the defence who provided me with a copy of the prosecutor's statement prepared under section 16 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
I prepared a report dealing with the defendant's own records of his illegal money lending activities, the monies deposited into a bank account in the name of the defendant's girlfriend, the lack of evidence of other hidden assets, and the defendant's gambling winnings.
Ultimately agreement was reached on the terms of a confiscation order which was approved by the Crown Court judge.