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Yet another Hidden Asset Result for Confiscation Team

Lewis Nedas Law Partner and Confiscation expert Keith Wood achieves yet another outstanding result for their client.

LN Law were instructed by their client in the summer of 2010 when the client became dissatisfied with the team that had been in place when he had entered a guilty plea to number of offences of VAT fraud.

The initial team had advised the client to settle the case on the basis that he had access to assets valued over £650,000. Our client, however, was adamant that that did not reflect his position and so sought to contest the stance adopted by the Prosecution. Before LN were consulted, the Prosecution then changed completely their starting point and were now intent on arguing that the client had hidden assets and wanted the Court to order that the entire amount generated under the scheme was to be paid back, which by now had risen to in excess of £22million.

The landscape had shifted massively. By adopting this position, if the Judge were to determine that the client had access to or controlled any asset over what he had declared, then the whole amount of £22million was payable and, if not paid, a default term of up to 10 years would be added to the sentence currently being served. The stakes at play could not have been higher.

The team had an enormous task, as much of the expenditure had been undertaken in cash, meaning that with little or nothing in the way of a paper trail, proving this was going to be tough.

Lewis Nedas assembled a formidable team: Jason Sugarman from 9-12 Bell Yard, noted for his skill in complex fraud and confiscation, and Philip De Nahlik from Begbies Traynor to analyse and report upon the available financial data.

The team worked amazingly well and each brought something fresh to the table. Over time and with much investigative work, we were ready for the hearing.

The evidence was called, and our client and expert Philip De Nahlik gave evidence to the Court about the expenditure.

Having heard five days of evidence, and with the benefit of Jason Sugarman’s careful submissions, the Judge finally ruled on the last working day before Christmas that we had persuaded the Court that there were no hidden assets and that we had accounted for the expenditure.

A great and well deserved result.

The importance of this case shows that by utilizing the right people and the right team you can successfully defend confiscation proceedings. All too often defendants are advised by their teams to accept ‘deals’ that they really ought not to. If you are ever in this situation then call our POCA team for their expert representation.

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