This is an area that forms a large part of James’s practice. Offences range from straight burglary, thefts in breach of trust and benefit fraud through to complex and lengthy Fraud Act offences. Confiscation matters routinely involve allegations of jointly held assets (such as family homes held with spouses and ex-spouses), overseas assets and tainted gifts. He has advised clients after orders have been made as to how to vary orders and appeal them.
R v S: (2019, Crown Court at Worcester) James represents the lead defendant in new area of criminal law: trading in tainted cultural objects. The allegation relates to a find of ancient treasure dug up by a detectorist in the Herefordshire countryside by an amateur metal detectorist.
R v S & H (2019, Crown Court at Taunton) James resisted an application by the regulator to confiscate £1.1m from two estate agents personally. The application was made on the basis on the turnover of their business for which they had not obtained a necessary licence. It was argued that depriving them of their turnover was wrong and disproportionate. The Court only ordered them to pay for the cost of the licence.
R v C (2018, Old Bailey) advised on and represented at court a former quasi-judicial office holder’s defence to confiscation proceedings. The prosecution application related to his wife and children’s assets after he was convicted of £2m+ fraud and theft.
Operation Dorset (2018, Crown Court at Bristol): Conviction secured against business-man in case involving high value VAT fraud in connection with the international trade of rare stamps.
Operation Picasso (2018, Crown Court at Bristol): multi defendant multi million pound boiler room fraud and money laundering
R v H (2016, Crown Court at Bristol): International tax evasion case covering multi million pound business activity in the UK, EU, Somaliland and the Indian Ocean
R v O’C & others (2015 and 2016, Crown Court at Bristol): Multi-handed IFA fraud targeting vulnerable, elderly victims
R v C-P (2015, Crown Court at Gloucester): Welsh gold mine fraud
R v D (2009, Crown Court at Newport): successful defence to fraud allegations based on the defendant’s lack of beneficial interest in real property despite having full legal title
R v C (2005, Crown Court at Cardiff): multi-million pound VAT fraud and subsequent confiscation proceedings involving assets based in the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China