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Cassella_sw.jpg Stefan D. Cassella

Civil Asset Recovery: The American Experience

14 August 2013 // english

In the United States, federal prosecutors routinely employ asset recovery as a tool of law enforcement. The approach takes two forms. In criminal cases, the prosecutor may seek to recover or “forfeit” property as part of the defendant’s sentence, if the defendant is convicted. Alternatively, the prosecutor may commence a civil proceeding, naming the property as the defendant and seeking to forfeit the property independent of any criminal proceeding. This article discusses the American experience with civil, or non-conviction-based, asset recovery. It discusses the prosecutor’s motivations for seeking to forfeit assets, the types of property that may be forfeited, the procedures that govern civil asset forfeiture, the advantages of civil or non-conviction-based asset forfeiture over criminal forfeiture, and the ways in which the United States, through judicial decisions and legislation, has reconciled the non-conviction-based approach with the requirements of basic human rights and civil liberties.

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Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 3/2013

1 August 2013 // english

Dear Readers, At the present time, the topics of fraud and tax evasion and, in general, the integrity of the single market are at the heart of the political agenda. Many of the issues under discussion concern my portfolio in one way or another. Firstly, I wish to mention the fight against fraud and tax evasion. This debate is not new. We can all recall the G20 meeting in London in 2009, where an ambitious political agenda was launched for the fight against tax havens and tax evasion in a broader sense. Recent reports have shown that the phenomenon is... Read more

Met-Domestici_online.jpg Alexandre Met-Domestici PhD

The Reform of the Fight against Money Laundering in the EU

1 August 2013 // english

Money laundering is a major threat to the integrity of the financial system and the stability of the EU’s economy. It is moreover one of the means used to finance terrorism – often through the laundering of small amounts of money. In order to combat it, the EU favours a holistic approach encompassing money laundering and terrorist financing. Hence, the fight against money laundering in the EU relies on the legal framework set by the successive directives, in the wake of the FATF’s recommendations. Money laundering is one of the few criminal offences defined at the EU level. It consists... Read more

Delphine Langlois

The Revision of the EU Framework on the Prevention of Money Laundering

1 August 2013 // english

On 5 February 2013, the Commission adopted a proposal to update the Directive on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing.1 As a complement to the criminal law approach, this directive sets up the basis of a preventive system relying on the vigilance of some private actors (banks, financial institutions, but also lawyers, accountants, or gambling providers) who are requested to analyse the risk of money laundering presented by their client's transactions.2 The inventiveness of criminals is without limit. Therefore, the Anti-Money Laundering Framework needs to be constantly updated.... Read more

Massimiliano Mocci

Confiscation by Equivalent in Italian Legislation

1 August 2013 // english

I. Introduction The extent of the phenomenon of tax evasion in Italy is now at such a level that,1 unfortunately, the legislative tools for control and repression, which are limited to administrative sanctions, are inadequate to effectively contain or to tackle such a massive subtraction of resources. Tax evasion affects direct national taxation, VAT, and, consequently, the European Union budget. Thirteen years after its adoption,2 the “new discipline of crimes relating to income and valued added taxes,” having at the time replaced the previous legal provisions constituted by Law No. 516 of 1982, is showing signs of age. Renewed on... Read more

Andrew Dornbierer / Charlie Monteith

Tracking and Tracing Stolen Assets in Foreign Jurisdictions

1 June 2013 // english

It has been estimated that roughly 1.6 trillion USD in criminal proceeds are laundered through the international financial system each year.1 To put this in perspective, this sum is more than the combined GDPs of Switzerland, Portugal, Romania, Belarus, and Austria in 2011. To enjoy this unnerving amount of illicit assets, criminals are forced to launder these funds through legitimate international financial channels in an attempt to disguise their illegitimate origins. Consequently, if an investigator knows how and where to look, there is always a connection that links a criminal’s assets to his or her crimes – and if sufficient... Read more