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Government Crackdown on Money Laundering & Financial Crime

The UK economy’s stability the reputation of its financial institutions and global position as an international financial centre is all at risk as a result of money laundering schemes by organised crime groups. Large-scale money laundering through UK businesses is rife, and laundering in the capital market is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. The government is now making a huge push to crack down on financial crime with a number of recent new initiatives.

Economic Crime Centre

A national economic crime centre is being established to tackle fraud and money laundering schemes. The centre will sit within the National Crime Agency; its main function is to enable different enforcement agencies to share resources and join forces to tackle organised crime and root out money laundering schemes.

Strategic Board for Economic Crime

A new economic crime strategic board, led by the Home Secretary has also been created, which will agree on strategies and policy to fight economic crime. This is in addition to several other developments brought in to help reduce threats to national security, quash fight financial crime and promote trust in our financial institutions.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

A new bill is being debated in the House of Lords (the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill) which aims to bring current anti-fraud and money laundering legislation up-to-date and to set out a post-Brexit framework for UK laws to keep them in line with international treaties. The strategy seeks to reduce threats to national security, create stronger economic opportunities and to promote greater public trust and confidence in our institutions.

The Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS)

It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but the new watchdog, namely the Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) established within the Financial Conduct Authority introduced at the end of last year, was created to tackle the serious issue of organised money laundering crime in the UK. Its main function will be the bringing together of a number of organisations so as to improve standards and communication between supervisors and law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of potential money laundering activity.

Review of Confiscation Orders

The Law Commission is making a full review of the current law on confiscation as laid out in the Proceeds of Crime Act. The main objective is to improve the current process and the enforcement of confiscation orders. Reforms to the way suspicious activity is reported and recorded will also undergo review.

Cryptocurrency Fraud

In terms of cryptocurrency crime and ICO venture fraud, the UK is still well behind other countries in its approach to regulation. In the US, individuals are now facing charges for cryptocurrency crimes on a regular basis thanks to a new cyber unit set up last year. The European Union is considering the development of a database of investors in the Bitcoin, which could mark the launch of a campaign to tighten up rules and regulations in the cryptocurrency field. This, of course, would make it harder to hide transactions and may raise privacy fears among investors – as bitcoin transactions are public, creating a system which will link them to individuals may be a controversial route to go down.

Specialist Fraud Defence Counsel England & Wales

The government’s overall objective is to create better communication between the various enforcement agencies and supervisors which will inevitably mean we will no doubt see an increase in the number of arrests and investigations with the number of changes we are seeing – counsel from an expert in the field who can easily navigate such a complex field is essential for the best possible defence.

Serious fraud and financial crime represent a substantial part of my practice. I am a specialist defence barrister, and therefore I have considerable experience in the field. This includes bank fraud, internet fraud, education fraud, and multi-million-pound carousel fraud/MTIC fraud. I also regularly deal with the accompanying confiscation and restraint proceedings relating to these cases.

As financial crime covers vast and sometimes complex areas of law, it follows that you should always make sure that you have the very best legal representation at all stages. Having access to this network of experts and the technical tools to do the job, ensures I always have time for detailed preparation, and to give due attention to my client’s case. To give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome it is vital you seek early expert representation as soon as possible.

Mark Kelly Fraud Defence Barrister in London, UK

If you find yourself under investigation for money laundering or fraud, do not hesitate to get in touch at the soonest opportunity. My professional experience, approachability and considerable expertise means that you will be in a very safe pair of hands when it comes to your defence, and my track record is second to none. I consistently obtain favourable results for clients accused of a variety of fraud and financial and regulatory cases.

Serving Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, London, Bristol and the rest of the UK. If you have any queries about issues raised in this blog, or if you want to discuss your case, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly on 020 8108 7186 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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11 January 2018

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Chambers & Partners 2018 - Rated as Band 2

"Noted for his representation of accountants and other professionals in complex fraud cases. He is adept at handling cases concerning carousel fraud, MTIC fraud and banking fraud. Strengths: 'He's analytical and indefatigable.'"

Anonymous - Alleged historic sexual abuse, October 2017, not guilty verdict

"I believe Mr Mark Kelly to be a truly outstanding professional. I felt entirely safe in his hands at all times. The jury reached unanimous not-guilty verdicts on all three charges in less than 45 minutes. I would stress that this testimonial is not based on the outcome alone; I had already expressed my gratitude to Mr Kelly before the final trial day and would have said the same whatever the outcome."