John Lloyd Jones QC and Kevin Barry – Defence confiscation success – reduction of available amount from £8 million to just £650,000
R v Yeomans, Derby Crown Court, May 2018. Insolvency Service claimed a benefit and available amount figure of £8m. After complex proceedings, £650,000 was eventually agreed as being available, with no ‘hidden assets’ being pursued.
In 2016, Alan Yeomans was represented by a different legal team (solicitors and counsel) when he pleaded guilty (on the full facts) to offences including cultivation of cannabis, acting as a director whilst disqualified in relation to three companies, and laundering approx. £2m. He was sentenced to 6 and a half years’ imprisonment. The case attracted some notoriety as Mr Yeomans was alleged to have have disguised a substantial luxury mansion as a farm shed (see link here).
John Lloyd Jones QC and Kevin Barry of 36 Crime were instructed in the POCA proceedings by Sonn MacMillan Walker (London), after the previous solicitors went into administration, having undertaken no substantive work in relation to the confiscation proceedings for over a year.
The prosecution, instructed by The Insolvency Service, asserted that the full ‘benefit figure’ of over £8m was realisable. This figure included the turnover of three companies and massive alleged ‘hidden assets’ said to have been accumulated and concealed by Mr Yeomans. On behalf of Mr Yeomans, it was argued that this was not a case where the veil of incorporation for the companies could properly be pierced, and that this was not an appropriate case for the hidden assets provisions to be applied.
Following the meticulous preparation of this case by counsel working in close partnership with the specialist, dedicated team at Sonn MacMillan Walker, the prosecution finally agreed that Mr Yeomans’ ‘benefit’ was just £1m and that his ‘available assets’ were £650,000. Significantly, the prosecution specifically accepted that there were no ‘hidden assets’ whatsoever. The court made a confiscation order in these agreed terms.