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Tax Evasion as Money Laundering


In R v IK [2007] EWCA Crim 491, (8/3/07 -, the question for the Court was whether the proceeds of cheating the revenue could be ‘criminal property’.

In a nutshell, a legitimate trader had earned legitimate money undertaking a legitimate business (a shop). However, the allegation was that not all the income was declared – thus cheating the revenue.

The Crown prosecuted a money laundering offence, but the trial judge ruled that there was no ‘criminal property’ – the money did not come from the actual crime.

Following a prosecution appeal, the Court of Appeal found that the undeclared income could in part ‘represent’ the proceeds of crime, as that undeclared amount would be representative of the ‘benefit’.  Thus applying the statute properly,  the undeclared income could at that point be criminal property.