As was widely reported in the media last week, some £75m of assets linked to Baroness Mone and her husband Douglas Barrowman were frozen under a restraint order granted under s41 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in December 2023. The assets include real property in London, Scotland and the Isle of Man as well as a range of bank accounts.
Restraint orders seek to preserve assets for the purpose of potential confiscation proceedings which can be instigated under POCA following a criminal conviction. For the avoidance of doubt, at this stage neither Baroness Mone nor Douglas Barrowman has been charged with a criminal offence, still less been convicted, and they deny all wrongdoing.
The order relates to the NCA’s investigation into contracts worth some £200m which were concluded between the Department of Health and Social Care and PPE Medpro for masks and gowns during the COVID pandemic. As confirmed in a recent documentary funded by PPE Medpro, the investigation is focusing on allegations of conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and bribery by Baroness Mone and Douglas Barrowman. Following applications made by the CPS earlier in 2023 and subsequent negotiations between the parties, the order was settled by consent.
Richard Hoyle was instructed by the CPS, led by Kennedy Talbot KC of 33 Chancery Lane and assisted by Ruth Hughes of 5 Stone Buildings.