Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office
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RCPO conviction rate rises to 92%

RCPO conviction rate rises to 92%

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 22 July 2009

The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office’s (RCPO’s) annual report, published today, indicates that its performance has continued to improve. It achieved a conviction in 92% of the 1,121 cases it prosecuted in 2008/09, and it obtained 499 confiscation orders against criminals amounting to over £69 million. During the year, it collected almost £22 million in confiscated criminal assets.

Other highlights of its year included:

* the £26 million confiscation order obtained against multi-million pound VAT fraudster Craig Johnson – the second highest achieved by RCPO

* the 12 defendants sentenced to a total of 125 years in prison for drug smuggling and money laundering, following a three-year Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation

* the successful extradition from Switzerland of Ray Woolley, who stole over £38 million from the Exchequer in an elaborate VAT fraud and had absconded from prison

* the conviction of three men to a total of 10 years’ imprisonment for trafficking military equipment to Iran in direct violation of the UK embargo

* the first use, in England and Wales, of serious crime prevention orders against three money launderers who laundered £25 million for organised crime networks.

Since its creation in 2005, RCPO – which is currently in the process of merging with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) – has prosecuted almost 5,500 cases and confiscated over £88 million from convicted criminals.

David Green QC, Director of RCPO, commented: “I firmly believe that, since its launch, RCPO has succeeded in its objective of restoring public and judicial confidence in HM Revenue & Customs prosecutions: a judgement shared by Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate in their recent report. Our achievements this year, and in previous years, will ensure that the merger with the CPS brings together two successful organisations that will deliver enhanced prosecution services for the public.”

Notes to editors

1. RCPO’s Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2008/09 are available at http://www.rcpo.gov.uk/en-gb/PUBLICATIONS/ANNUALREPORT/Pages/home.aspx
2. The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) was created by the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005. An independent prosecuting authority, RCPO reports directly to the Attorney General and is responsible for prosecuting cases for HM Revenue & Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency. It prosecutes some of the largest drug and fraud cases in the UK.
3. For further information, please contact the RCPO Press Office at press.office@rcpo.gsi.gov.uk or on 020 7147 7565. For out of hours enquiries, call 07894 599 178.
4. For more information about RCPO, please visit our website at www.rcpo.gov.uk

Contacts:

NDS Enquiries
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Jasbinder Garcha
Phone: 020 7147 7748
jasbinder.garcha@rcpo.gsi.gov.uk

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