It was plain that the pension policies of a company director convicted of VAT fraud constituted “realisable property” under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 so that his appeal against their addition to a receivership order, on the ground that they had no realisable value and would continue to have none for a number of years, failed.
A judge had been entitled to increase the amount of confiscation orders pursuant to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.22 after the Crown had discovered a further realisable asset, namely a property. The defendant’s case that a third party had an interest in the property was incredible and the judge had not erred in questioning the defendant and third party before reaching that conclusion.
An order for committal for breach of a confiscation order was quashed where the magistrates had failed to apply the correct statutory test under the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 s.82(4). They had not stated that they were satisfied as to the claimants’ wilful refusal or culpable neglect in defaulting on payment, nor that they had considered and ruled out all alternative options of enforcing payment. Instead, they had focused on the claimants’ delay in complying with the order and on the fact that sufficient assets were available to satisfy it.
The Supreme Court interpreted the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Commencement No. 5, Transitional Provisions, Savings and Amendment) Order 2003 art.4(1). It had not been Parliament’s intention that, if any of the offences on which a defendant had been committed pre-dated 24 March 2003, none of the offences, not even those committed after that date, could be treated as candidates for confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.156.
Although the default term of imprisonment imposed in respect of a confiscation order did not stand alone and was closely linked to the confiscation order, they were distinct orders and the Court of Appeal did not have jurisdiction to hear a prosecution appeal against the default term.