£2.35m returned to charities following NCA probe

Click here to view the article on the Guardian Website & here to view the article on the NCA press release

James Fletcher, instructed by Michael Ward and Laura Beamont at Burges Salmon LLP, advised and acted for the NCA in a frozen funds investigation which has led to the successful return of £2.35m to two charities.

A retired Rabbi, Barry Marcus MBE,  held the funds in personal accounts and failed to distribute them over a number of years.  

The funds were received from Dalaid, an organisation that aims to relieve poverty and advance Jewish education, and The Schwarzschild Foundation, which aims to provide education and the relief of poverty for women and girls in the orthodox Jewish faith. Both charities have said that they were unaware that the funds had not been distributed.

Between November 2022 and March 2023, the NCA applied for four Account Freezing Orders over funds totalling £1,183,072 that were held in Marcus’ accounts.

Despite maintaining that he had distributed a substantial amount of money in accordance with the charity’s intentions, Marcus was unable to provide satisfactory independent documentation to substantiate this.

On 31 January this year, Marcus formally agreed to return over £2m to the charities, representing almost double the funds identified in the UK and frozen. On 12 March 2024, Westminster Magistrates’ Court varied the four Account Freezing Orders to allow the frozen funds to be returned to the two charities.

To continue reading the articles, Click here to view the article on the Guardian Website; click here to view the article on the NCA Website.

James Fletcher practises in both civil and criminal law. He is a specialist in Asset Recovery money laundering and Proceeds of Crime work. He has significant expertise in dealing with Account Freezing, Listed Assets and Forfeiture applications in the Magistrates Court and Civil Recovery in the High Court. He is instructed on behalf of businesses, by individual members of the public and by Government departments, such as the NCA, HMRC, FCA and DPP.

In his capacity as a “A panelist” on the Attorney General’s list of Civil Counsel, he deals with immigration, inquest and inquiry work and challenges to government policy. James is also a standing counsel to Santander bank. He has been featured in Chambers and Partners in the field of Proceeds of Crime and Asset Forfeiture work (all circuits) since 2014 and has been “Top Ranked” since 2016. James is ranked as a Tier 1 leading individual in The Legal 500 for POCA and Asset Forfeiture (London Bar).