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The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the NSW Crime Commissions has successfully applied to the Supreme Court to freeze the assets of a Mosman businessman and his wife.
It is alleged that Savas Guven has attempted to launder over $3.5million over just two weeks in 2014.
According to media reports, Mr Guven previously served time in custody for armed robbery before building a significant property empire, which included three adjoining shops in Kingsford, a property developing company and a scaffolding firm.
As is normal in cases such as this, Mr Guven and his wife will now need to provide affidavits setting out their significant assets, including property, investments and cash. That task will no doubt be rendered all the more difficult by the fact that Mr Guven has also been arrested, charged and denied bail as a result of the allegations.
In the civil proceedings the Crime Commission will no doubt seek orders that funds that they allege were illegitimately obtained be, repaid. The freezing orders will ensure that the assets are kept in place pending the investigation.
Such orders will not only prevent Mr Guven from selling property or business. His investments and cash will also be frozen, although the court usually makes allowances for living and legal expenses.
This case is one of a growing list of cases where the accused person is criminally prosecuted and is simultaneously the defendant in civil proceedings to retrieve the funds. The criminal charges he is facing are extremely serious, carrying a heavy maximum penalty of 20 years, making it one of the more serious offences available to prosecutors.
Sometimes civil proceedings such as this can be put on hold pending finalisation of the criminal proceedings, whilst in many other cases they are quietly settled so that they do not interfere. In particular, defendants are generally loathe to have to give evidence about the source of funds, particularly when it is suggested that they were obtained through fraud or drugs.
In the case of Mr Guven it is presently unclear how it is that the authorities suggest he obtained the funds, or what crime they allege they are the proceeds of. No doubt determining the source of the funds will be a focus of the investigation.
Image Credit – Ben Jeayes © 123RF.com
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