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Proceeds of Crime
Both the State and Federal Government in Australia have enacted laws which allow for the restraint and forfeiture of proceeds of crime. Sometimes, these laws apply regardless of whether you have been convicted or even charged with a criminal offence.
Confiscations legislation is draconian in nature and the effects of litigation can be devastating. Bank accounts, redraw facilities, term deposits and shares can be frozen. Any asset of value; cars, boats, real property, jewellery, businesses and even cryptocurrency can be seized and sold. Even legitimately acquired property can be seized and sold where the State alleges you have otherwise benefited from unlawful activity or that you are in possession of assets or money which cannot be adequately explained.
Often, external experts such as forensic accountants or taxation specialists are engaged to examine your financial circumstances and provide a report in your defence. This is particularly important in confiscation matters because it is up to you to prove that your money and assets are legitimately acquired and therefore should not be forfeited.
If you are subject of a confiscation application, you must act fast to obtain experienced and competent legal advice. The law can even restrict access to your assets for the purposes of funding your legal defence. In addition, strict time limits apply. If a person does not respond to an application to forfeit property, failure to comply can sometimes result in automatic forfeiture to the government.