Partner Richard Cannon examines the details and powers of confiscation orders in Law360.

Richard’s comments were published in Law360, 17 January 2023, and can be read here

The additional four year sentence in the Nascimento case demonstrates the power of confiscation orders and shows that authorities are increasingly focusing their efforts on recovering the proceeds of financial crimes.

Importantly, the four year sentence does not absolve Nascimento of liability for the outstanding debt, emphasising that failure to pay a confiscation order may have long-lasting implications even after an offender is released from prison.

Confiscation orders have long been subject to criticism over the difficulty in enforcing them. Recent proposed reforms by the Law Commission in November focused on improving the effectiveness of confiscation orders, with the hope that reform will allow for the recovery of an extra £8 million per year.

The FCA will look to portray the additional sentence as a deterrent for other non-payers and a victory for the agency in an environment where enforcement can frequently be problematic.

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