ďWatching a bird of prey is fascinating. It hovers high in the air, not letting its prey out of sight for a second, and then sweeps down at just the right moment."

Property offences (Criminal Code)

 

Criminal investigations usually involve more than one offence. Often, several offences will be dealt with as part of the same investigation, including forgery (Section 225, Criminal Code), deception or embezzlement (Sections 326 and 321, Criminal Code), corruption (Section 328ter, Criminal Code), bankruptcy fraud (Section 340 et seq. Criminal Code) and money laundering (Section 420bis et seq., Criminal Code). These offences are sometimes referred to as property offences.

 

Forgery includes, for example, false or falsified invoices or other documents such as memos, minutes or correspondence. It is important to note that, under Section 69(4) of the General State Taxes Act, prosecution of an offence under Section 225(2) of the Criminal Code is prohibited if a person can also be prosecuted for tax offences.

 

A company, director or employee can be charged with deception or embezzlement if they are suspected of having unlawfully disposed of money or goods.

 

Corruption (including bribery) and bankruptcy fraud have been assigned high priority by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and FIOD and have resulted in many international criminal investigations. Corruption cases have involved investigations into civil servants and other employees suspected of accepting gifts, making promises or providing services from businesses in return for favours. In the case of bankruptcy fraud, investigations have involved all sorts of alleged misconduct relating to bankruptcy or insolvency. In these cases, a good international network of lawyers is of vital importance.

 

Lastly, almost every fraud case includes a suspicion of money laundering. The offence of money laundering is often used by the authorities as a ‘safety net’ to achieve an 'easy conviction'. Although the Dutch legal framework for money laundering is broad, the Dutch Supreme Court has set some strict boundaries and more jurisprudence is arriving on a daily basis. We keep a close eye on all jurisprudence so as to have every possible argument ready for use.