The AFP attempted to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to restrain property of innocent victims of money laundering. The circumstances of this case were highly suggestive of ‘cuckoo smurfing’. The WA Supreme Ct ordered the AFP to return the innocent victim’s money. I acted for the successful innocent parties in this matter.
Former Assistant US Attorney Stefan Cassella on Civil Asset Forfeiture
There has been a lot of criticism leveled at authorities in many countries, particularly the US, over the use that is made of civil confiscations or proceeds of crime laws.
Without a doubt there have been abuses of these powers, just as there are from time to time abuses of criminal prosecution processes.
In this article a former US Federal prosecutor makes the case for civil forfeiture. It is a well-written piece by an eminently qualified author.
My only caveat is that I think the abuses that the US has seen have been at the State and County, not Federal, level.
The convergence of family law with criminal property confiscation or proceeds of crime proceedings can complicate matters for both criminal & family lawyers. I set out some basic principles and considerations when your client is affected by both family law and confiscation or proceeds of crime proceedings.