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SOCA v Fenech

In SOCA v Fenech (QB – 13 January) the Serious Organised Crime Agency began an investigation into the tax affairs of a company director (F). They formed the opinion that F had failed to declare the full extent of his income and issued assessments covering the years 2004/05 to 2008/09. They also seized more than £200 000 in cash and applied for a ‘freezing order’. The QB granted the order finding that there was ‘abundant evidence’ of ‘a risk of dissipation’; that F had ‘failed to properly account to HMRC in relation to his or his companies’ tax responsibilities’ and that the evidence suggested that there had been ‘fraudulent conduct’.

Why it matters: The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s 317 provides that the Serious Organised Crime Agency can undertake the Revenue functions of HMRC where there are ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’ that there has...

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