National Crime Agency reins in attempts to seize tycoon Israel Perry’s assets - Business News - Business - The Independent

National Crime Agency reins in attempts to seize tycoon Israel Perry’s assets

 

The new National Crime Agency is facing a major embarrassment after it abandoned most of its attempts to seize the UK and US assets of Israel Perry, the Israeli tycoon who is also suing the agency for £10m for compensation of losses allegedly caused by the lawsuit.

This landmark case is based on the expanded powers of the NCA to freeze the worldwide assets of any foreign businessmen and oligarchs who have moved their wealth into the UK. The change in the law last year has major implications for international high-net-worth individuals who have bought property in London and moved funds into UK bank accounts.

The NCA’s predecessor, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, has been investigating Mr Perry for the past four years and froze his UK assets because it claims his properties and bank accounts were derived from the theft for which the businessman was convicted in Israel.

But now the NCA has withdrawn its claims on many of Mr Perry’s assets, which have a combined total of £22m. They include £5.2m worth of art at his mansion in South Street, Mayfair, another £6.5m in Hoare and Lloyds bank accounts in London, a further £8.3m in accounts held by the Safra private bank and £155,000 held in a safety deposit box, according to NCA estimates.

The NCA has also paid £846,000 of Mr Perry’s legal costs and the bill could be higher as he is suing the agency for a further £1.5m plus interest for his legal fees relating to civil court hearings in the High Court and Supreme Court over the past four years.

Legal sources say that dropping claims against such assets, which were frozen by a Property Freezing Order, could result in a claim for compensation based on losses suffered by Mr Perry. This could increase the £10m already being claimed by Mr Perry in his lawsuit against the NCA in the High Court. The total bill is likely to be at least £13m and could be much higher.

A spokesperson for the NCA told The Independent: “Israel Perry is a convicted criminal serving a 10-year sentence for crimes which formed the basis of Soca’s civil claim. The NCA has not withdrawn the claim against him and litigation is ongoing. It would be inappropriate to comment before this is resolved.” The Perry case is being watched closely by UK lawyers acting for oligarchs and for foreign super-rich clients. It has created a significant precedent for wealthy foreign businessmen who have parked their wealth in London because it has given the UK authorities extra powers to seize their worldwide assets.

But the new concessions by the NCA in the Perry case are a major setback for the UK authorities in enforcing the law. Last year the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal for Soca to seize Perry’s possessions outside the UK.

The court declared that the agency had over-reached its authority and could only freeze his UK assets, which included two £10m houses in Mayfair, and office blocks in the City. But this is disputed by the NCA. “The change in the law allows us to recover property overseas which has been obtained through unlawful conduct in the UK or overseas,” said an NCA official.

If the case against Mr Perry ultimately fails and the bill for the taxpayer rises, it will be embarrassing for Soca, but it could provide an escape route for the new NCA to blame it on its predecessor.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skies as 007 for first time
Sport
footballThe latest scores and news from Dortmund vs Arsenal and Liverpool vs Ludogorets
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
Life and Style
techCriminals now targeting e-readers
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashion
Travel
news This video may make you think twice about ever taking the Tube again
Life and Style
A spider is seen in its web on September 16, 2014 in Hohen Meissner, Germany.
tech The 'Spider in Da House' app has been developed by scientists to tackle arachnophobia
Life and Style
fashionIncredibly, it hasn't been branded 'Will.eye.am'
News
A plane flies close to the eruption of the Icelandic volcano
newsAnd yes, it's quite something
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week