Newsletters Business Crime & Financial Services 19th Oct 2017

Business Crime & Financial Services Group Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to the Autumn edition of the Business Crime & Financial Services Group newsletter.
 In this edition:
  •  Howard Watkinson reviews recent developments in the law relating to pre-charge restraint orders and considers the ways in which such applications can now be challenged.
  • Fiona Robertson considers the search for David Green’s successor at the SFO and the implications that this has for the continued survival of this embattled institution.
  • Gudrun Young examines the recent rejection by the Administrative Court of a challenge brought by Newcastle United FC to the validity of search warrants executed by HMRC.  The judgment makes dispiriting reading for those who have championed the need for search warrant applications to be rigorously examined by the issuing court and not merely rubber stamped on the way through.
  • Vivienne Tanchel writes on a recent decision of the US Court of Appeals prohibiting the use in US trials of testimony obtained by compulsion in other jurisdictions (in this instance, by the FCA in LIBOR disciplinary proceedings here).
We hope that you enjoy these articles, which provide a helpful insight into these contemporary issues.  If you would like to discuss any of the matters which have been raised, please feel free to contact the authors directly.


 

Exercising Restraint?
Howard Watkinson

The pre-charge restraint order under POCA is doubtless one of the most draconian tools in the proceeds of crime armoury. It has the capacity to cripple businesses, be they bodies corporate or sole traders, almost overnight. Both divisions of the Court of Appeal have reminded the Crown of the draconian nature of these orders, perhaps none more so than in In re Stanford International Bank Ltd v Serious Fraud Office [2010] EWCA Civ 137, where Hughes LJ said at [191]…

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The SFO survives the Latest Political Reshuffle
Fiona Robertson

The Government is beginning the search for a new director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) thereby confirming Theresa May’s plan to scrap the white-collar crime authority has been abandoned.

Theresa May had vowed to scrap the SFO as part of plans to improve the UK’s handling of white collar crime if the Conservatives won the General Election in June this year. Following similar threats in 2011 and 2014 Theresa May had proposed to incorporate the SFO into the National Crime Agency (NCA) in an effort to improve intelligence sharing and bolster the investigation of serious fraud, money laundering and financial crime. This followed concerns that the SFO had struggled to prove its worth following botched cases including the Libor rate-fixing scandal and the prosecution of Vincent Tchenguiz…

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Newcastle United Football Club and Others v HMRC: A Backwards Step in Relation to Search Warrants?
Gudrun Young

On 4 October 2017 Newcastle United lost its case against HMRC in a landmark ruling concerning the lawfulness of search warrants and the effect of a judge’s failure to give reasons for issuing such warrants (Newcastle United Football Club and Others v HMRC [2017] EWHC 2404 (Admin)). HMRC had obtained search and seizure warrants as part of its investigation into what it suspected was a “systematic abuse” of the tax system by Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC). The club contended HMRC had no reasonable grounds to suspect tax fraud and complained of significant failings in the process by which the warrants were granted…

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The Right to Silence is Not Yet Silent
Vivienne Tanchel

On November 5th 2015, Anthony Allen and Tom Conti, both previously employees of Rabobank, were convicted by a court in New York of wire fraud and bank fraud as a result of their conduct in manipulating the London Interbank Offer Rate (“LIBOR”). In the first appeal brought against a LIBOR conviction anywhere in the world, they appealed their convictions to the United States Court of Appeals on 5 grounds. This article deals with the issue relating to whether testimony obtained under compulsion of a foreign power may be used against that individual in a criminal case in the United States…

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