Section 6

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Confiscation of assets Criminal liability Economic sanctions Proceeds of crime

This section requires the Crown Court to consider confiscation against a defendant who has been convicted of a criminal offence, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. The key considerations for a court when deciding whether to order a defendant to pay a sum of money are whether the defendant has a “criminal lifestyle” and/or has benefited from his or her criminal conduct in some way.

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Section 6. Making of [a confiscation] order

(1) The Crown Court must proceed under this section if the following two conditions are satisfied.

(2) The first condition is that a defendant falls within any of the following paragraphs— (a) he is convicted of an offence or offences in proceedings before the Crown Court; (b) he is committed to the Crown Court for sentence in respect of an offence or offences under section 3, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4, 4A or 6 of the Sentencing Act; (c) he is committed to the Crown Court in respect of an offence or offences under section 70 below (committal with a view to a confiscation order being considered).

(3) The second condition is that— (a) the prosecutor asks the court to proceed under this section, or (b) the court believes it is appropriate for it to do so.

(4) The court must proceed as follows— (a) it must decide whether the defendant has a criminal lifestyle; (b) if it decides that he has a criminal lifestyle it must decide whether he has benefited from his general criminal conduct; (c) if it decides that he does not have a criminal lifestyle it must decide whether he has benefited from his particular criminal conduct.

(5) If the court decides under subsection (4)(b) or (c) that the defendant has benefited from the conduct referred to it must— (a) decide the recoverable amount, and (b) make an order (a confiscation order) requiring him to pay that amount.

(6) But the court must treat the duty in subsection (5) as a power if it believes that any victim of the conduct has at any time started or intends to start proceedings against the defendant in respect of loss, injury or damage sustained in connection with the conduct.

(6A) The court must also treat the duty in subsection (5) as a power if— (a) an order has been made, or it believes an order may be made, against the defendant under section 4 (criminal unlawful profit orders) of the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 in respect of profit made by the defendant in connection with the conduct, or (b) it believes that a person has at any time started or intends to start proceedings against the defendant under section 5 (civil unlawful profit orders) of that Act in respect of such profit.

(7) The court must decide any question arising under subsection (4) or (5) on a balance of probabilities.

(8) The first condition is not satisfied if the defendant absconds (but section 27 may apply).

(9) References in this Part to the offence (or offences) concerned are to the offence (or offences) mentioned in subsection (2).

Law / United Kingdom / Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002  creates a multiplicity of statutory powers and criminal offences designed to deal with the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The Act sets out the legislative scheme for the confiscation of assets that have been obtained through criminal conduct.  The Act also provides for a number of investigative powers, and creates distinct offences relating to money laundering.