Mark Beardsworth quoted in The Time in Unexplained wealth orders: a new tool to fight criminal money
PUBLISHED ON: 03/29/2018
Partner Mark Beardsworth was quoted in The Times article, 'Unexplained wealth orders: a new tool to fight criminal money.'
From the article:
"The fight against illegal money started in 1988, when the Criminal Justice Act criminalised the retention or use of the proceeds of crime. A long list of anti-money laundering laws followed, many based on five EU money laundering directives made between 1991 and 2017.
As of January 31, the Criminal Finances Act 2017 allows the High Court to make unexplained wealth orders (UWOs). These put the burden on those being investigated, so it is an easier tool for law enforcement than has existed before.
Unexplained wealth orders force suspects to explain their prosperity. Criminals or foreign heads of state earning low salaries may be required to explain how they can afford multimillion-pound houses in quiet, leafy locations in England.
The National Crime Agency has acted quickly, announcing that it “has secured two unexplained wealth orders to investigate assets totalling £22 million that are believed to be ultimately owned by a politically exposed person”. A politically exposed person is a head of state, minister, politician or other person holding public office anywhere except in the UK or the EU.
These first orders were accompanied by orders preventing each suspect from dealing with or disposing of the properties until satisfactory explanations are given and prohibiting them from dealing with or disposing of them.
Mark Beardsworth, a partner at Brown Rudnick, said that UWOs “provide short term political gain, but they are very tough on people receiving them”. He added: “Certainty will be achieved as decisions are made by judges, but it will take the best part of a decade.”"
To read the full article, click here.