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Selling Assets Abroad

Advice and Assistance from Cohen Cramer 

If the Crown Court makes a Confiscation Order against you will be required to sell any assets that you own to make the payment. The onus is on you, the Defendant, to realise any assets that you have within the timeframes permitted by the Court.

Where a Defendant has assets to sell, the Court will usually allow the Defendant 3 months to pay the order. This is extendable, on application to the Crown Court, by a maximum of a further 3 months. There must be genuine reasons to justify an extension of time. After this time expires, interest will accrue on the amount owed.

Complying with your order

Complying with an order can be extremely problematic if you have assets in foreign jurisdictions. This could be a holiday home, commercial property or funds held in foreign banks.

When repatriating foreign assets it is important that you understand the required procedure so as to ensure compliance with the Country’s regulations and tax laws.

The procedure differs depending on the location of the assets. As it is the Defendant’s responsibility to pay the Confiscation Order, you are unlikely to receive any assistance from Prosecuting authorities regardless of the complexity of the matter.

Possible problems with compliance

You must also be aware of the time that it takes to realise the asset and repatriate the proceeds to the UK. This is not always a quick process and can be problematic as the Court only allows limited time for payment of the Confiscation Order. It is therefore important that the procedure is completed as efficiently as possible to avoid further interest accruing.

For clients who are detained or subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order which restricts travel, dealing with assets overseas is always problematic. Members of our Proceeds of Crime Department have in these circumstances represented client’s interests overseas by travelling to the Country in which the assets are located to investigate legal issues, assist with completion formalities and repatriate funds.

You should also be aware that failing to realise assets and satisfy the Confiscation Order within the time limit may result in the imposition of a default sentence. It is therefore extremely important if you hold any assets overseas that you obtain advice as soon as possible. This will allow appropriate steps to be taken to realise the assets so that any delay can be justified to the Prosecuting Authorities. This will help to avoid the imposition of a default sentence.

The solution to your problems

Our specialist Proceeds of Crime Department are familiar with the complications faced by Defendant’s required to sell assets overseas. We have represented clients faced with such difficulties and successfully dealt with the realisation of foreign assets and repatriation of the proceeds following sale.

Our specialist POCA team are adept at seeking solutions to problems in relation to foreign assets, realising foreign property, repatriating funds and avoiding the imposition of default sentences.

If you are having difficulty selling assets in a foreign jurisdiction or repatriating the funds to pay your Confiscation Order we can help.

Please contact our POCA team:

call: Lauren Bowkett on 0113 2247811
email: poca@cohencramer.co.uk

Article by Lucy Ryczany (May 2019)

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