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As one of the leading serious fraud firms in UK, Bark & Co regularly have to advise their clients on the implications of money laundering charges which often accompany investigations and prosecutions of fraud. UK legislation is wide ranging and recent changes to the law have increased the likelihood of money laundering charges being pursued vigorously by the authorities. The team at Bark & Co are experts in the interpretation of the law and in particular the parameters open to the prosecuting authorities in respect of money laundering charges.
In the UK, primary legislation on money laundering includes the Terrorism Act 2000, the Anti-Terrorism Crime & Security Act 2001, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2005 and the Serious Crime and Police Act 2005. Secondary legislation comprises Money laundering Regulations 2003 and 2007. These increasingly stringent regulations put the onus on businesses to ensure that certain controls are in place to prevent them being used for money laundering purposes including customer due diligence measures and internal controls and monitoring systems.
Under UK law, it is a money laundering offence when a person enters into, or becomes concerned in, an arrangement which facilitates by whatever means the requisition, retention, use or control of criminal property (assets or money) by another person. In many cases, the authorities seek to block suspected money laundering activities at an early stage by applying severe constraints even where there is scant evidence of wrong doing. Actions include forfeiture of assets etc.
Bark & Co frequently has cases under way where our clients are facing both fraud and money laundering charges. In one such recent example the FSA and City of London Police had mounted a combined operation into a large boiler room fraud based overseas. This case has been singled out as a good example of the increasing scale and prevalence of this type of fraud and demonstrates how international operations are being used to bypass the UK financial regulations and authorities to launder money abroad. In another fully contended, cut-throat trial, our client was implicated in a conspiracy to defraud a bank of more than £200M, setting up several offshore accounts to money launder the proceeds of the fraud. In all cases, Bark & Co set out to ensure that our experience and expertise is carefully matched to client requirements, utilising the best legal counsel where necessary to achieve the best outcome.