In R v IK  EWCA Crim 491, 8/3/07 the question for the Court was whether the proceeds of cheating the revenue could be ‘criminal property’. In a nutshell a legitimate trader had earned legitimate money undertaking a legitimate business (a shop). However, the allegation was that not all the income was declared – thus cheating the revenue.
The Crown prosecuted a money laundering offence but the trial Judge ruled that there was no ‘criminal property’ – the money did not come from an actual crime. Following a prosecution appeal the Court of Appeal found that the undeclared income could in part ‘represent’ the proceeds of crime, as that undeclared amount would be representative of the ‘benefit’ of tax evasion.
In conclusion, there can be no doubt that the State will always maintain as many possible offences as possible when it comes to offences against the revenue, the plans to scrap jury trials in certain fraud cases must be fought tooth and nail as the bottom line is always the question of the honesty and integrity of the Defendant and who better placed to decide that question than a properly directed jury?