It’s payback time for Cocky

I’m not normally a vindictive person, but when it comes to money launderers, my bile knows no bounds.  I’m not quite calling for the death penalty, but I’m a bit sad that the birch has gone, and many long years in prison are very much to my taste, particularly when the pension pot is confiscated at the same time.  So you can imagine my glee this week when the Royal Court of Jersey saw through the protestations of Curtis “Cocky” Warren that he had made his fortune through selling fruit and veg, and ordered him to repay £198 million of proceeds from his drug dealing.  He was told that the money is due within 28 days, or he faces an extra decade in prison.  I’m almost hoping he can’t scrape it together…

I am often asked during AML training what happens to assets and money obtained through confiscation orders – where does it go?  The first step is to try to return it to the victims of the crime.  This works for the proceeds of fraud or theft, for instance, and even for embezzlement from the public purse – but not for drug crimes or bribery.  After all, you wouldn’t want a drug buyer or someone who has paid a bribe to have their money refunded.  And sometimes the victim cannot be traced.  So often there is money that cannot be returned, and something else has to be done with it.

It varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but as I understand it, the general pattern is this: about a half goes into the public purse, then a quarter goes to the investigating agencies involved in the conviction and confiscation (almost certainly police, then perhaps trading standards or immigration, for instance) in order to incentivise them to take on such work (which is time-consuming and complicated), and finally a quarter is spent on crime-prevention initiatives within the community affected (perhaps after-school clubs to keep teenagers off the streets, or an education programme warning of the dangers of online fraud).  I do hope that gives Mr Warren some comfort; after all, as a campaigner against drugs himself, he should be proud to contribute about £66 million to anti-crime work.  Heavens, that must make him almost a philanthropist.


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3 Responses to It’s payback time for Cocky

  1. Kay says:

    I have a fascination for this fella, almost bordering on obsession. I think mainly because, if the contents of ‘cocky’ are to be believed, he has got away with such blantant criminality over such a long time, mainly due to legal technicalities that i have been waiting, waiting, for someone to finally nail him good and proper.

    And that it should be Jersey police, who get quite a hard a time for not really having much to do and being a bit ‘backwards’ makes it all the sweeter.

    I’ve no doubt that there will be many an appeal against this order, serving only (I hope) to further my obsession and to deplete him of some more of his ill gotten gains.

    Have you read the comments section of that interview? His ‘poor me, i hate drugs and love my mum’ routine has most of the Guardian readers calling for his release, after all, ‘he’s only selling a bit of weed’. Who do they think he is? Howard Marks??

  2. Hello Kay
    Personally, I found it a bit creepy that he insisted on being interviewed by this particular woman, “a Guardian reporter wearing a red polka-dot dress and yellow sandals”. He’s obviously very intelligent, and I think it’s a control issue – he enjoys manipulating people. Like you, I am delighted to see him outwitted – thank goodness the Jersey court was not taken in by his sob stories.
    Best wishes from Susan

  3. Pingback: Plenty of time to count to ten | I hate money laundering

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