The Asset Confiscation Process

At Paul Horvath Solicitors, we guide you through each stage of the Asset Confiscation process using clear, plain language so you always know where you stand.

Please find below a brief introduction to the process.

Who are the ACO and what do they do?

According to the Department of Justice, Victoria, Asset Confiscation Operations (ACO) has responsibility for the forfeiture, restraint and disposal of:

  • Property used to commit crimes
  • Money resulting from crime
  • Property bought with money that comes from a criminal offence.

The ACO also has the power to make offenders pay back the dollar value of any benefit they receive from crime through a Pecuniary Penalty Order.

What is Confiscation?

Confiscation is the process by which:

  • The proceeds of a crime are forfeited to the state
  • Property purchased with proceeds of crime is forfeited to the state
  • The property that is used to commit a crime is seized and forfeited
  • The offender is required to pay back to the state the dollar value of the      benefit that he or she has received as a result of committing the crime (a      Pecuniary Penalty Order).

What types of property potentially subject to confiscation?

The types of property that can potentially be subject to confiscation include:

  • Any property used “in the commission of” an offence
  • Any property obtained with the proceeds of the commission of an offence.

Depending on the seriousness of the offence, property can be automatically forfeited whether or not the property was “connected with” the offence.

In the case of civil forfeiture, if it can be shown that a property was acquired with the proceeds of crime, you don’t need to be charged with an offence for that property to be forfeited.

What happens to confiscated goods?

Auctions to sell forfeited goods are held by agents of Victoria Police and ACP [??] sells real property (land) at public auction.

Funds obtained from the sale of forfeited property are paid to the Government’s Consolidated Revenue.

Can I claim compensation?

If you are the victim of a crime and have received a Compensation Order, you may be able to claim some money from the auction of the goods seized from that crime.

This is only possible if the goods were restrained for the purpose of compensation and both the Compensation Order and the Forfeiture Order for those goods were made in relation to the same offence.

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To book an appointment or for more information call 03 96420435