The £950k seized from Plymouth club boss is still in Jersey
PROSECUTORS and police who forced the owner of the Dance Academy to pay a £1 million 'proceeds of crime' bill will see less than £13,000 of it, The Herald has learned.
Last month The Herald reported on how Plymouth MP Alison Seabeck tabled a number of questions surrounding the £1m Proceeds of Crimes Act bill which was ordered to be made by Dance Academy boss Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh.
The Herald had learned the POCA order, made in September 2010, was subject to a legal wrangle between the Home Office and the State of Jersey's Attorney General's office, with sources claiming very little of the money had been returned to Britain.
Despite assurances by parliamentary under secretary Crispin Blunt that the bill had been "paid in full", Mrs Seabeck pressed him further.
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His latest answer reveals that of the £1m, just £69,248 was "accounted for by [HM Courts and Tribunal Service] and forwarded to the Home Office."
Mr Blunt admitted: "The bulk of the assets were held in Jersey outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Therefore £950,730 was enforced by Jersey within their jurisdiction and that amount was retained in full by them.
"Under the Asset Recovery Incentive Scheme the CPS as the Prosecution Agency would retain 18.75 per cent of the £69,248, which equates to £12,984."
Mrs Seabeck told the Herald the answer revealed "an extraordinary arrangement".
She said: "I'm a little surprised the assets aren't all accessible by HM Government.
"More questions need to be asked, such as where's the interest going for this, who benefits from the earned interest?
"It is of concern because it can't be just this one case."
Seabeck described the £12,984 to be given back to the CPS as "derisory".
She said: "I'd like to congratulate The Herald for bringing this to my attention.
"To be honest, it's left me speechless. It's more than surprising that such a significant amount of money, having been laid down by courts in Britain wasn't then returned to the UK.
"It certainly hasn't come back to support the people who did all the work to get those assets.
"I really do have concerns that the CPS, which is under pressure to carry out its bread and butter business, may well not see any incentive in pursuing money held outside the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
"I want to know what discussions have taken place between our Government and Jersey about why money assiduously pursued by the CPS and its staff is not coming back to the UK and benefiting the CPS.
A spokesman said the State of Jersey's Attorney General's office was "currently in communication with the Home Office regarding the matter".