South London property developer agrees to hand over £2million in assets to settle claim over fraud, tax evasion and money laundering claims and growing cannabis

A property developer has agreed to hand over assets worth almost £2 million to settle a civil recovery claim based on alleged involvement in cannabis cultivation, money laundering and fraud.

The order, imposed on Richard Leahy, 56, a landlord from Orpington, relates to three London properties and £1,125,340 in cash in a bank account.

The NCA’s case was that the property was the proceeds of his criminal conduct. The NCA alleged that Mr Leahy had been involved in criminal activity for more than 15 years, including cannabis cultivation, mortgage fraud, benefit fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

The civil recovery order was made by consent on 23 June by the High Court in London after a settlement agreement between the NCA, Mr Leahy and twelve other defendants which were companies owned by or associated to Mr Leahy.

In 2017, the NCA secured a property freezing order  from the High Court over residential and commercial properties in South London and Kent belonging to Mr Leahy or his companies. A claim for civil recovery was lodged in November 2018. In April 2020, Mr Leahy applied to discharge the property freezing order but his application was dismissed by a High Court Judge.

Andy Lewis, Head of civil recovery at the NCA, said: “This is a great result, recovering nearly £2 million that will go back into the public purse and be used to help fight criminal activity. Settlements in civil cases offer good value to the tax payer, avoiding often lengthy and costly legal battles while freeing up our investigators and legal team to pursue other casework.”

 


 

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