In England and Wales, the criminal offence of “tipping off” is related to money laundering activities. Tipping off refers to the act of disclosing information or giving a warning to someone involved in money laundering or terrorist financing, which could potentially prejudice an investigation or hinder the detection or prosecution of such offences.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) in England and Wales, Section 333 makes it an offence for a person to disclose any information that is likely to prejudice an investigation into money laundering or terrorist financing. This offence applies to individuals who have knowledge or suspicion that an investigation is being conducted or is likely to be conducted.
The offence of tipping off is designed to protect the integrity of money laundering investigations and prevent individuals involved in criminal activities from being alerted to the fact that they are under scrutiny. By disclosing information or giving a warning, individuals may have the opportunity to conceal or move illicit funds, destroy evidence or evade prosecution.
If found guilty of tipping off, the penalties can be severe. According to Section 333 of POCA, the offence is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, a fine or both.
It is important to note that the offence of tipping off is distinct from the related offence of “prejudicing an investigation,” which involves actions that intentionally obstruct, interfere with or prejudice an investigation into money laundering or terrorist financing.
If you have concerns or information related to money laundering or terrorist financing, it is advisable to report it to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or the National Crime Agency (NCA), rather than engaging in any actions that could potentially constitute tipping off.
Have you been charged with “tipping off”? Alexander JLO’s team of white collar crime experts would be happy to assist in preparing your defence. Why not give us a call on 020 7537 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and see what we can do for you?