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R v D
Community Order received for Benefit Fraud and negotiation of a significantly reduced confiscation settlement
The defendant pleaded guilty to a benefit fraud valued at £18,000 and received a community order. Confiscation proceedings commenced to recover the value of the benefit fraud but also any benefit from criminal conduct over the preceding 6 years totalling £161,000 including £146,000 in unexplained cash payments. The Confiscation Unit analysed the Defendants bank accounts and discovered large payments and transfers of cash out of and between accounts when the Defendant was not paying tax and claiming a limited income. They assumed this money was from criminal conduct unless the Defendant could prove otherwise. The prosecution assumed the money was available to pay the confiscation order. The Defendant disputed this and Minton Morrill instructed an expert forensic accountant and by providing evidence for his version of events, the Prosecution ultimately accepted a much lower available amount figure of £68,000. We had to demonstrate how the Defendant operated his accounts and successfully established that much of what the prosecution said was a benefit from criminal conduct was money that the Defendant spent on his living expenses. As £18,000 of the £68,000 was from the benefit fraud, the remaining £43,000 was an excellent result. The prosecution accepted this because of the forensic accountants report and the evidence and arguments we put forward.