Unexplained Wealth Orders are used to combat financial crimes such as money laundering and tax evasion. They compel you to explain how you were able to afford a particular asset.

 

Money laundering lawyers London

If you are the subject of an Unexplained Wealth Order, you need to speak to our money laundering lawyers today. There are strict time limits to meet. If you fail to do so, your asset could be recovered by the authorities.

You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

What are Unexplained Wealth Orders?

An Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) is a type of court order. It compels a named individual (known as the respondent) to explain how he/she obtained an asset worth more than £50,000.

UWOs were introduced in the UK on 31 October 2018. They are intended to help various authorities combat financial crimes, including HMRC, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office.

 

Grounds for an Unexplained Wealth Order

To get a UWO, the relevant authority must make an application to the High Court. The court will only grant the UWO if it is satisfied that the following conditions are met –

  1. The respondent holds the property which is worth £50,000 or more
  2. There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the known source of the respondent’s lawful income would have been insufficient to obtain the property
  3. The respondent is a politically exposed person; OR
  4. There are reasonable grounds to suspect the respondent, or someone connected to the respondent, has been involved in serious crime

It does not actually matter whether the respondent is in the UK, or even whether the property is in the UK. Furthermore the property may be held in joint names, or may have been acquired before UWOs were implemented. In all these scenarios, the authorities are still able to obtain an Unexplained Wealth Order.

 

What happens when a UWO is granted?

If the High Court does grant a UWO, the respondent has a specified amount of time to –

  1. Set out the nature and extent of their interests in the property
  2. Explain how they obtained the property
  3. Provide further information if requested

A respondent must achieve this within the time frame allocated, unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse’. Otherwise, their interest in the property can automatically be considered for civil recovery proceedings. This is when property is seized by government authorities.

 

What should I do?

Failing to respond to an Unexplained Wealth Order could result in serious consequences. Therefore, if you are subject to an UWO, it is better not to bury your head in the sand. Instead, contact our money laundering lawyers for advice.

We can help you manage the situation, providing a statement that explains the source of your wealth. Once this has been achieved, the case against you can have little prospect of success.

 

Money laundering lawyers London

Unexplained Wealth Orders require immediate action. Contact our money laundering lawyers now for professional legal advice.

You can call us on 0333 009 6275. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be in touch soon.