Call us today - 01252 523600

Call us today - 01252 523600

Criminal Defence

Financial & Business Crime

Our services

The impact of a criminal investigation on you as a professional or your business can be extensive and devastating. Not only may you find your assets frozen but you may also find yourself subject to confiscation proceedings following on from the substantive offence.

Some of the more common offences falling under this category are:

    Fraud by false representation, by failing to disclose, by abuse of position and other offences under the Fraud Act 2006. 
    Missing Trader Intracommunity (MTIC) fraud schemes, which involve artificially extended trading chains. Typically, in MITC fraud schemes, at one end there is a ‘missing trader defaulter’ who imports goods and charges VAT to its UK customers but does not pay what is owed to HMRC. At the other end of the chain, there is a ‘broker’, which is an exporter that seeks to reclaim the VAT that has not been paid. When challenged, the broker insists on being paid and denies knowledge of the default on VAT payment to HMRC as there are intermediate traders who act as ’buffers’ MTIC fraud is investigated by specialist agencies and we strongly advise you to contact us as a matter of urgency should you find yourself suspected of being involved in an offence such as this.
    Bribery either by bribing a person or being bribed yourself. 
    Money Laundering including both the substantive offences and breach of regulations

It is important you obtain specialist advice as soon as possible. The combination of financial pressure on top of that associated with being subject of criminal investigation or proceedings is often too much for one person to withstand alone. Please contact us so that we may advise you on how to alleviate the pressure.

Money Laundering

Money laundering is defined in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2022 (POCA) as “the process by which the proceeds of crime are converted into assets which appear to have a legitimate origin, so that they can be retained permanently or recycled into further criminal enterprises”.
Money laundering can be broken down into two categories:


Those who commit offences and then launder the proceeds of those criminal offences. The criminal offences are referred to as “predicate offences”.


Those whose only criminal involvement is to launder the proceeds of crime committed by others.

Criminal Defence Services

Financial & Business Crime Solicitors based in Aldershot, UK

Ensure you and your business are protected with specialist legal advice and representation. Contact Levales Solicitors today.

Interpretation - Criminal Property

The Crown has to prove that the laundered proceeds are "criminal property". Property is criminal property if:

    It constitutes a person’s benefit from criminal conduct or it represents such a benefit (in whole or part and whether directly or indirectly), and
    The alleged offender knows or suspects that it constitutes or represents such a benefit.

Property is widely defined under POCA and includes money; all forms of property or real estate; things in action and other intangible or incorporeal property.
Due to the definition of criminal property, there is no distinction between the proceeds of the defendant's own crimes and of crimes committed by others.
Criminal conduct is conduct which constitutes an offence in any part of the UK, or would constitute an offence in any part of the UK if it occurred there.
Money laundering prosecutions focus on two types of offending. Firstly, there is offending where money laundering can be charged or included on an indictment in which the underlying predicate offence (the offence from which the proceeds of crime came) is included. This is an “own proceeds" or "self-laundering", where the defendant in a money laundering case may also be the author of the predicate crime for example, a defendant may be charged with Conspiracy to Burgle.
This is an offence the defendant may have also committed themselves. Additionally, the defendant may also be charged with a money laundering offence for converting the proceeds of the Conspiracy to Burgle. 
Secondly and using our example above, a defendant may not have been part of the Conspiracy to Burgle at all but they may launder the proceeds of the burglary for the person of the predicate offence.
The principal money laundering offences can be found at section 327 to 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. All of these offences carry a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. Below is a brief outline of the law.

Section 327 states that it is an offence for someone who is concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property from England and Wales or from Scotland or from Northern Ireland;
Concealing or disguising criminal property is defined as concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to said property. 
Section 328 states that “a person commits an offence if he enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person.”
This offence includes a wide range of activity involving those who launder on behalf of others, usually at the layering and integration stages. It can catch individuals who work in financial or credit institutions, accountants or other professionals, who facilitate money laundering by or on behalf of others, in the course of their work. 
The prosecution has to prove that the defendant enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement; which he knows or suspects facilitates (by whatever means) the acquisition, retention, use or control; of criminal property; by or on behalf of another person.
The laundered assets need not belong to the accused individual.
Under section 329 a person commits an offence if he acquires criminal property; uses criminal property; or has possession of criminal property.
The prosecution has to prove the defendant acquired, used or possessed of criminal property; and that when doing so, he had the necessary knowledge or suspicion that the property represented a benefit from criminal conduct.

Confiscation Proceedings

These proceedings are designed to remove from offenders all of the benefits of their criminal conduct and lifestyle while simultaneously providing a deterrent to others motivated by financial gain and disrupting the flow of money and resources into organised crime.
These proceedings often flow from fraud offences and those of an acquisitive nature as well as drug offences.
We regularly provide advice and challenge robustly these applications on behalf of our clients.


At Levales Solicitors, we can provide a robust defence for financial and business criminal offences as well as a number of other criminal matters. If you or your business are facing criminal charges, speak with our team today to see how we can help you. Here are just a selection of the testimonials we have received from clients for our services:

Fast, pragmatic, professional and courteous service.

AMB of London

Very friendly and helpful and felt they really cared.

SM of Surrey

Our cases

Please see below one of the recent business and financial criminal cases we acted in. If you would like us to represent you, get in touch now.

  • 01

    R v M 2020 Guildford Crown Court

    Drew Pettifer successfully secured the acquittal of a mentally vulnerable defendant charged with Conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and Money Laundering.

  • 02

    R v JS 2018 Isleworth Crown Court

    Ruth Cassidy successfully persuaded the Crown to discontinue confiscation proceedings against a client who had pleaded guilty to the importation of class C drugs.

  • 03

    R v GC 2020 Guildford Crown Court

    We contested confiscation proceedings following a large supply of drugs case. We were able to reduce the figure of criminal benefit found against our client by over £20,000.

  • 04

    R v LF 2021 St Albans Crown Court

    Ruth Cassidy was able to negotiate with the prosecution in relation to a Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings to come to an agreement which was approved by all parties.