Proof of cash provenance required in ‘inheritance’ case

A Gravesend couple has had more than £111,000 confiscated after Kent Police raided their home and found the cash in a kitchen cupboard.

Lee and Hayley Martin claimed that the money had been left to them by a relative just before they died in 2020 and that they had planned to share the cash out between relatives. However, an in-depth investigation would appear to suggest this was untrue.

While there is no mention of why the police raided the Martins’ home, the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate subsequently conducted an investigation which included a financial analysis of bank accounts and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) income records.

This investigation revealed it was unlikely that the relative would have accumulated such a large sum. A sample of the money also revealed that three bank notes had been issued by the Bank of England after the relative’s death.

The investigators applied for the cash to be confiscated because the couple could not demonstrate that it had been earned through legitimate means.

At the hearing, a spokesman for Kent Police’s economic crime unit said that the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) enables financial investigators to “ensure that any money potentially acquired through criminal means is not used to fund further unlawful activity.”

Commenting on the case Helen Gregory, Forensic Director at Milsted Langdon, said “Even though Mr and Mrs Martin were never charged with any criminal offences relating to this incident, they were unable to provide a verifiable explanation as to where the money came from.

“This case should stand as a warning that anyone found in possession of substantial amounts of cash they cannot account for, could be at risk of an investigation by the police and confiscation of the money.

“As well as supporting a prosecution and the courts, forensic accountants can undertake an equally in-depth investigation into the provenance of any money under suspicion, assisting the respondents in presenting the evidence to show the source of the funds under enquiry.”

Source(s): Kent Police

Posted in Blog, The Forensic Blog.