Serious Crime Bill = seize what you want

Government fraud busters are to be allowed to claim millions
of pounds worth of assets, even from those who have not been found guilty of
any financial crime. 

They will be able to demand that the courts strip property
from alleged fraudsters in all cases, including those where no charges have
been brought to court.  

The Serious Fraud Office is set to achieve a long-standing
ambition to be given highly controversial powers to ask judges to deprive
people of their houses, cash and valuable items, simply on the assumption that
they have committed and profited from lucrative white-collar crimes.

Nearly eight years after the then SFO director Rosalind
Wright asked publicly for the ability to trigger confiscation of the proceeds
of alleged fraud, legislation will give the department the sweeping legal
powers she wanted.  

In theory, the SFO, which has struggled over the years to
achieve guilty verdicts from juries in criminal trials, could short-cut the

It could ask civil courts to seize any assets it believes to
be the proceeds of financial crimes, even when there has been no guilty verdict
in a criminal court. 

This could prove an easier route for the SFO to attack
suspected fraudsters rather than having to convince a jury 'beyond reasonable
doubt' in a criminal case. It would be able to obtain a seizure order from a
judge sitting alone using the much lower standard of proof of ' balance of

The Serious Crime Bill, currently before Parliament,
contains a little-noticed provision allowing 'asset recovery powers' to be
exercised by the SFO.

At present, the SFO has wide powers in cases where criminal
proceedings are likely. It can ask the civil courts to restrain at an early
stage the assets of those who face investigation, to prevent them being
spirited away.

When a fraudster is convicted it can ask the courts to
deprive the guilty parties of their ill-gotten gains.

But any attempt to seize the assets of those against whom
there are no convictions has had to be channelled through the Assets Recovery
Agency, the independent body whose job of confiscating the proceeds of crime is
being transferred to the 'British FBI', the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

However, the bill makes provision for the SFO, now run by
Robert Wardle, to assume these powers in its own right for its own cases. The
boost to its powers comes as the SFO is recovering from the furore over its
decision to drop a long-running inquiry into bribery allegations against
defence group BAE Systems.


And you thought you lived in a democracy.!! 

In a free society, the rights and laws protect the individual from the government.
In a dictatorship, the rights and laws protect the government from the people.

NuLab – Destroying Britain
from the inside out.



About IanPJ

Ian Parker-Joseph, former Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, who currently heads PDPS Internet Hosting and the Personal Deed Poll Services company, has been an IT industry professional for over 20 years, providing Business Consulting, Programme and Project Management, specialising in the recovery of Projects that have failed in a process driven world. Ian’s experience is not limited to the UK, and he has successfully delivered projects in the Middle East, Africa, US, Russia, Poland, France and Germany. Working within different cultures, Ian has occupied high profile roles within multi-nationals such as Nortel and Cable & Wireless. These experiences have given Ian an excellent insight into world events, and the way that they can shape our own national future. His extensive overseas experiences have made him all too aware of how the UK interacts with its near neighbours, its place in the Commonwealth, and how our nation fits into the wider world. He is determined to rebuild many of the friendships and commercial relationships with other nations that have been sadly neglected over the years, and would like to see greater energy and food security in these countries, for the benefit of all. Ian is a vocal advocate of small government, individual freedom, low taxation and a minimum of regulation. Ian believes deeply and passionately in freedom and independence in all areas of life, and is now bringing his professional experiences to bear in the world of politics.
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0 Responses to Serious Crime Bill = seize what you want

  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if New Labour and it's various MPs had their assets seized or restrained regarding recent enquiries into loans for honours, anonymous donations through third parties and, more recently, Peter Hain's failure to disclose donations he received. Gordon Brown's comments that the third party donations “were not lawful and therefor would be returned”, begs the analogy of the Brinks Matt robbers having been convicted and telling the judge “we'll just return the money and lets say no more about it”. How is it that MPs call it sleaze, apologise unreservedly and that makes it all right whilst Joe Public, for a similar wrongdoing, is accused of fraud. And all this from a party that first came to power on an anti-sleaze ticket pledging to be whiter than white.