Have you ever thought about what happens to the wealth criminals accumulate over the years after they’ve been caught? You may assume that the money taken from innocent victims never gets recovered or put back into society for good use, but you’d be wrong. The physical assets criminals purchase with their ill gotten money can be confiscated from them and used to fund good causes locally. For instance lavish items like sports cars, jewellery and gold watches which have been purchased by criminals can all be taken from them under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
What Are The Proceeds Of Crime?
Quite simply, the proceeds of crime are defined as any money or items that have been accumulated under illegal circumstances. This also extends to items or goods that have been purchased with the money from illegal crime activity. Money laundering is an effective way for criminals to hide their proceeds of crime. This means that anything they purchase whether it be expensive cars, jewellery, houses, designer clothes etc can all be confiscated from them in the result of a conviction. This means that not only will they serve a jail term but they can monetarily pay back their debt to society.
Anyone convicted of a crime, whether it be burglary, drug dealing, tax evasion or fraud can be forced to hand over a certain amount of money to refund the tax payer for what they have stolen. Many high end goods that a criminal has accumulated over time will be auctioned off to the highest bidder to show that crime doesn’t pay. This shows to many in the criminal fraternity, whether it be local or nationwide, that whatever they buy with their stolen money will not be allowed to remain with them in the long run.
Once the relevant authorities have decided whether assets have been gained illegally they can then be processed and put to good use. Criminal money is usually funnelled back into the relevant police force so as to aid in future crime prevention – reinvestment in police forces is paramount when fighting crime, especially in the current climate. Assets are usually split between the police, the Crown Prosecution and the Home Office.
However, all the money doesn’t just get swallowed up by the police and government. Victims can sometimes recoup some of their money stolen from them by the criminal. Furthermore, there have been many schemes set up with the illegal profits of crime. Local councils can apply to claim some of the proceeds of crime to set up worthwhile organisations that will benefit their local community. It is a long and arduous task convicting criminals for their crimes and it should be seen as positive when money does get seized.
It just goes to show that some good might just come out of it in the long run when the illegal assets of flashy criminals are recycled back into our local communities.