Guidance on the approach to applications under section 10A of POCA 2002—civil rules and the family home (R v Forte) – 5SAH

‘This case sets out the key principles and procedure to be followed under applications pursuant to section 10A of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) where the court has to determine the extent of the interest of a third party in property held by a defendant that is likely to be realised or otherwise used to satisfy a confiscation order. The court held that where the prosecution intends to prove that a defendant has a beneficial interest in property and another holds, or may hold, an interest in that property, the burden and standard to be applied are those of the civil standard. Where matrimonial property is concerned, the court is entitled to look to the evidence and draw such inferences as they see fit to determine whether beneficial interest should follow legal title. Such evidence can include sham divorce proceedings and the use of property for a joint purpose.’

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5SAH, 30th November 2020