Police Return Funds Seized from Bitcoin Trader

Yessi Bello Perez
Aug 3, 2015 at 11:59 UTC
Updated Aug 4, 2015 at 18:57 UTC
news

A bitcoin trader in Scotland has had thousands of pounds returned to him after they were seized by police during a money laundering investigation in May.

According to Herald Scotland, Max Flores’ money was returned to him last month, following his solicitor’s appeal.

The trader – who is unsure as to whether the seizure will have a negative effect on his credit rating – estimates he lost approximately £1,200 of his original £5,500 in legal fees.

Laura Irvine, an associate at bto solicitors, told the Herald that her customers’ money had been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, which enables police to seize funds if they have “reasonable grounds” for suspecting that they are proceeds of crime.

Irvine explained:

“The legislation tends to be used typically for drug dealers who there is maybe not enough evidence to convict them of any criminal offence, but there is plenty of intelligence in the background which suggests that is what they are up to … However when you look at the circumstances of Flores case it may be a slightly less justified approach.”

Flores was notified that his funds had been seized during a visit to his bank to make a withdrawal in May this year.

“I was stopped by the police when I left the bank – they said you are not under arrest, but we are taking your money. When they took me to the station I asked do you know anything about me? When they said no, I told them if you try googling me you will find out that I am a bitcoin trader.”

Cash image via Shutterstock