Criminal Law Practice

Practice Overview

MR. BAS A.S. VAN LEEUWEN (LL.M., ESQ) provides assistance to enterprises and physical persons who are suspected or victim of crime, in particular economic and financial crimes (white collar crime). The attorney is active, among other things, in matters relating to money laundering, swindle, bribery, misuse of corporate assets, abuse of confidence, bankruptcy crimes, tax evasion, inheritance fraud, public procurement fraud, customs and excise duty fraud, and gambling fraud. He guarantees quality, efficiency and discretion. He strives to reach a successful resolution for all dossiers in the shortest possible term, if possible by means of an amicable settlement. 

Suspects

The police can arrest someone who is suspected of committing a criminal offence and question him. In the Netherlands, a suspect can be held without charge for questioning as part of an investigation for up to six (6) hours. If someone is arrested for the purpose of establishing his or her identity, the period can be extended once, by another six (6) hours. The suspect has the right to consult an attorney for half an hour before being questioned by the police for the first time. While he is being detained as part of an investigation, he can also ask

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Trial

Once the investigation has been concluded, the public prosecutor may decide to prosecute a suspect. In this case, the suspect will be issued with a notice of summons and accusation, detailing the precise charges against him as well as his rights. It also states when and where the district court will hear the case. The public prosecutor may also decide not to prosecute, for example if there is insufficient evidence against the suspect.

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Conviction

At the hearing, the court either acquits or convicts the defendant, or discharges him from prosecution on a point of law. When someone is convicted, a sentence, such as a fine, an alternative sanction, or a term of imprisonment, or a non-punitive order will be imposed. Furthermore, the person then has a criminal record for a specified period of time.

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Appeal or final and unappealable judgment

Someone who has been convicted and wishes to challenge the court’s judgment can lodge an appeal if the law permits. If an appeal is possible, the person who has been convicted (or his attorney) must lodge an appeal with the court registrar within 14 days. The appeals procedure is free of charge. The administrative body has plans to ensure that anyone who has been convicted of a serious crime of violence or a sex offence will not be released while an appeal is still pending.

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Appeal

On appeal, a different (higher) court reviews the case. This court may convict or acquit the person previously convicted, or discharge him from prosecution on a point of law. Someone who has been convicted can only lodge an appeal once. After that the option remains of lodging an appeal in cassation with the Supreme Court, if the law permits. The public prosecutor too may appeal the district court’s judgment. If this happens, the defendant will be notified and summonsed again to appear in court.

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Victims of a crime

If perpetrators are to be brought to justice, it is important for the victims to go to the police as soon as possible to lodge a criminal complaint. They can do so at the police station, or in the case of minor offences by telephone or online. Once a suspect has been found, the Public Prosecution Service takes over. Suspects are questioned, and if there is due cause, they will be held in pre-trial detention and prosecuted.

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The rights of victims in criminal proceedings

The Dutch administrative body is working to strengthen the rights of victims in criminal proceedings. One way of doing so is to give victims the right to information, both about the proceedings and about the scope for claiming damages. In addition, victims and surviving relatives have the right to be treated with respect, to be given the assistance of an interpreter and/or attorney, and in certain cases to present their point of view in court. These rights are laid down in the Victims’ Status (Legal Proceedings) Act. The administrative body’s plans include an undertaking to strengthen the position of the

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Witnesses of criminal offences

In some cases, the police will ask someone who has witnessed a criminal offence to make a statement. You can present yourself as a witness and give as many details as possible. Ask the police officer for his name, so that you can phone him if you suddenly remember something you forgot in your statement. During proceedings the court may also wish to hear witnesses. Witnesses who have been summonsed are obliged to appear and to tell the truth; failure to do so is a criminal offence. Witnesses who believe that they are at risk can ask to be excused

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Disposal of cases by the Public Prosecution Service (OM): penalties imposed by the OM

In the Netherlands, the Public Prosecution Service has the authority to impose penalties for a number of common criminal offences. The Public Prosecution Service may not impose custodial (i.e. prison) sentences. Municipal authorities and special enforcement officers also have the authority to impose penalties of this kind. They can issue an administrative penalty for antisocial behaviour; for instance, they can fine someone for noise nuisance. They can also issue a ‘police penalty’ for so-called ‘P offences’, which are offences like speeding that used to be punished with on-the-spot fines. The Public Prosecution Service may impose a range of penalties. Examples

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Related Expertises wthin this practice area

General Criminal Law

General criminal law is a collective name for all crimes and offences laid down in the Dutch Criminal Code and a few additional laws. Property crimes (theft / embezzlement / fraud), Homicide (murder / manslaughter), sex crimes (rape / sexual assault), Opium Act offences (drugs) and Traffic Act offences (driving licence / alcoholic), among others, all fall within this law.

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Economic Offences

The Dutch Economic Offences Act (WED) provides for criminal prosecution of breaches of regulations contained in specific regulatory legislation. These include the regulations in the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, the General Customs Act and the Sanctions Act. Prosecutions under the Dutch Economic Offences Act (WED) are also possible in the event of breaches of legislation on strategic goods (dual use), licensing regulations for imports and exports, and transactions involving countries or individuals subject to sanctions.

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Financial Criminal Law

It is not rare for banks and financial institutions to come into conflict with the Dutch financial criminal law. They are confronted with a complicated legal framework of laws, recommendations, guidelines and suchlike and are regularly under criminal investigation due to a violation of these rules. Allegations of offences under the Dutch financial criminal law may concern the use of insider knowledge of IPOs or secondary share offerings, prospectus fraud, or other acts that are punishable under the financial supervision law.

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Criminal Tax Law

Involvement with tax criminal law can arise if an incorrect tax return is examined by the tax inspector who then chooses to hand the relevant file over to the Fiscal Intelligence and Investigation Service (FIOD), rather than imposing an administrative penalty. This often leads to a criminal investigation into the possibility of tax fraud.

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Environmental Criminal Law

Environmental criminal law is increasingly attracting more attention now the protection of the environment gains (political) ground. Companies and individuals are being prosecuted for environmental offences ever more frequently. Dutch environmental criminal law is nevertheless a very specialised sector of the Dutch criminal law, having its roots in an abundance of laws, guidelines and directives.

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Employment related criminal law

Labor law is now a major source of criminal liability for companies, its legal representative and management. In order to enable you to assess the risks incurred in the course of doing business, to identify and manage risky behavior and, finally, to assist you in dealing with prosecution authorities, MR. BAS A.S. VAN LEEUWEN (LL.M., ESQ), attorney at law, has created a division dedicated to employment related criminal law, combining the expertise of lawyers experienced in criminal litigation and corporate consulting.

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Occupational accidents and diseases

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Companies are often helpless when it comes to dealing with the consequences of an occupational injury, as they have little control over all the issues involved. To help you resolve these issues, MR. BAS A.S. VAN LEEUWEN (LL.M., ESQ), attorney at law, has set up an expert team of lawyers who have gone through specific training, have a forensic background, dedicated digital tools and day-to-day practice. He helps clients deploy management tools, and provide strategic advice and defense in case of litigation. He is particularly recognized for their work in one-off transactions: company takeovers, defense against claims for inexcusable conduct, risk assessment, negotiation, and coordination with criminal proceedings.

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Government Enforcement and Investigations Practice

VAN LEEUWEN LAW FIRM represents companies and individuals in a range of government and internal investigations, regulatory inquiries, white-collar criminal defence matters, compliance issues, civil litigation, and enforcement actions. Today’s Public and private business environment is marked by the close coordination between government authorities and regulators, which has, in turn, blurred the lines between regulatory, civil, criminal penalties. Public and private businesses face a challenging enforcement environment, particularly in highly regulated industries.

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White-Collar Criminal Defence

No client expects to be the target of a criminal investigation, but with lines between regulatory, civil, and criminal enforcement increasingly blurred, businesses and executives can find themselves faced with subpoenas, law enforcement interviews, search warrants, and even criminal charges.

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Corporate Fraud and Criminal Law

Invoice Redirection Fraud

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Invoice Redirection fraud (or Mandate Fraud) occurs when your company receives a request to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, from someone purporting to be from another organisation to which regular payments are made, for example a business supplier. It generally takes place when a criminal impersonates your company and deceives the customer into making payment of the company’s genuine invoices to a fraudulent third party account instead.

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Business Email Compromise (BEC) Fraud

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Business Email Compromise (BEC) Fraud (or CEO Fraud) is similar to Invoice Redirection Fraud however in this case junior employees in the finance department of a company receive an email from a fraud perpetrator purporting to be the Chief Executive Officer stating that an important deal or some other urgent matter is pending and that a substantial payment needs to be processed immediately.

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Email Fraud

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Email fraud (“Phishing”) involves fraud perpetrators making contact by email and can take a number of forms. The email may appear to be from a reputable company however when one clicks on the email or attachment or link within the email, malicious software (malware) is downloaded onto the PC or other device allowing the fraud perpetrator to track online activity and identify personal or financial information for fraudulent purposes. Both individuals and companies can be victims of this type of crime.

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Phone Fraud

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Telephone fraud involves criminals contacting you by phone (vishing) or by text (Smishing) pretending to be your bank, credit card issuer, utility company or often a computer company. During the conversation they will try and trick you into giving personal, banking or security information. Fraud perpetrators may also convince you to make a money transfer to them or inform you that you have won a prize and need to send money to release it. Their intention is to use this information to commit fraud against you or other parties in your name.

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Private Automatic Branch Exchange Fraud

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A substantial increase in your telephone bill is an indication your company could be the victim of Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) fraud. Detailed billing will assist in identifying any potential unauthorised calls, usually International calls but they can also be National telephone calls. Another indicator is where customers trying to dial, in or employees trying to dial out, find that the lines are always busy.

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Internal Investigations and Audits

Fraud risk management

Legislation, regulatory imperatives and proposed new guidance for businesses all mean that it is no longer adequate for firms to simply deal with fraud as it arises. It therefore becomes necessary to have an effective fraud risk management strategy in place and have relevant systems and controls within the context of a ‘risk-based’ approach. VAN LEEUWEN LAW FIRM can help you assess your vulnerability to fraud, define any weaknesses in your systems and processes from both an external and an internal perspective, and help you minimise your vulnerability to fraud risks. The law firm is also able to assist with

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Whistleblowing service

An important aspect to encourage accountability and transparency within a private or public entity is a mechanism to enable all individuals to voice concerns internally in a responsible and effective manner when they discover information which they believe shows serious malpractice. A number of clients have implemented VAN LEEUWEN LAW FIRM’s Tip-Offs Anonymous. The Tip-Offs Anonymous is an independent, anonymous and confidential reporting service that enables employees to raise concerns about possible fraud or misconduct. This allows the employer to then take prompt and effective action. Issues uncovered through this service include (a) bribery and corruption, (b) procurement fraud, (c)

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Anti-bribery and corruption consulting

The number of enforcement actions, the number of jurisdictions within which enforcement actions have been brought and the size and nature of fines and penalties arising from anti-corruption legislations, have all increased significantly over the last few years. With far reaching legislations like the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act etc., and authorities across different jurisdictions such as the Department of Justice (DOJ), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) etc. increasingly sharing information and bringing joint actions – now more than ever, managing the risk of corruption has become a global rather than a country specific issue. Corporate

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Anti-money laundering consulting

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Traditionally money laundering has been a risk area for banks and financial institutions. However, the broader reach of anti-money laundering (AML) legislation worldwide and the increase in financial and trading activity performed by other businesses have meant a change to this view in recent years. VAN LEEUWEN LAW FIRM believes in serving its clients through a collaborative approach, working together to address AML issues and developing innovative solutions to this type of compliance risk. The law firm strongly advocates a ‘riskbased approach’ to money laundering, in line with global regulatory trends, and have extensive experience in implementing this approach at

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Business intelligence services

Investors have seen increasing opportunities to achieve growth through acquisition or investment deals in jurisdictions around the world, particularly in emerging markets. While these opportunities can be extremely lucrative, they can also result in clients entering into business relationships and new markets, which give rise to potential legal and commercial risks. If these are not identified and addressed prior to completion of a transaction or the commencement of a business relationship, they can result in financial loss, reputational damage and regulatory/criminal sanction. VAN LEEUWEN LAW FIRM helps businessess understand their potential customers, business partners, acquisition or alliance targets and major

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Corporate fraud investigation

The spectre of white collar crime can place a significant drain on any business. When such issues arise, it is imperative that they are dealt with quickly and concisely. VAN LEEUWEN FCRM helps you navigate through the regulatory and operational complexities and take timely decisions so you can get on with business. The law firm consists of investigative skills to conduct corporate investigations spanning many levels of complexity. It’s analytical technical capabilities can identify root causes and mitigate ongoing risk within the organisation. Using auditing expertise, documents and transaction analysis combined with witness and third-party evidence, VAN LEEUWEN FCRM provides

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Forensic data analytics

PRAETOR FORENSIC AUDITING’s Data Analytics professionals specialise in the collection, cleansing, enrichment, transformation, analysis and modeling of data for the purpose of investigation. It’s data analysis will identify areas susceptible to high fraud risk, enabling you to focus your efforts in preventing them or dealing with them during the Investigation process. Data visualization is another area which is used in all fraud investigations that enables the exploration and analysis of relational data elements, differentiated as entities and links, through a visualization process that exposes connections, pathways, networks, and flows that are not apparent in traditional data views.

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Computer forensics

It takes special skills, techniques and technology to find, gather and preserve digital evidence. Without rigorous data capture and discovery technique, crucial evidence could be lost in an internal investigation or potential litigation. While cutting-edge technology is certainly important, without the specialist know-how to apply the technology and years of investigative experience to recognise evidence, one cannot be sure of the best computer forensic support. PRAETOR FORENSIC AUDITING collaborates with some of the most experienced computer forensic specialists, with backgrounds in law enforcement, technology, fraud investigation, system security consulting, computer forensics and computer incident response, that can help in the

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Forensic Litigation support and Forensic Dispute Resolution advisory

The rapid pace and complex manner in which commercial transactions between businesses are conducted has resulted in a large amount of litigation and disputes. To overcome such issues, experienced litigators require the support of forensic dispute advisory professionals who could provide valuable financial insight and identify relevant risks. Breach of contract or duty, negligence infringement of intellectual property and similar circumstances can also cause significant bottom line damage. PRAETOR FORENSIC AUDITING applies a variety of quantitative and qualitative techniques to isolate and analyse damages. Whether the dispute involves claims from joint venture partners or suppliers, or a buy sell dispute,

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Criminal Proceedings

Regular Crime Trials

Regional court Court of appeal These procedures may involve different accusations, such as: Organized crime Violent crimes (homicide, assault, causing grievous bodily harm, public violence, vandalism) Sexual offenses Property crimes (theft, handling of stolen goods, extortion, embezzlement, money laundering) Fraud (forgery, false travel documents, skimming, fraudulent bankruptcy) Cybercrime Human trafficking, deprivation of liberty, abduction Threatening, defamation, stalking Drug offenses (smuggling, importing, exporting, possessing, dealing hard drugs , growing cannabis Violation of the Arms and Ammunition Act Tax offenses Economic crimes Traffic offenses Military Criminal Law

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Special Proceedings Law

Objection to the refusal to access the case file Objection to the refusal to return confiscated property Objection to the refusal to return a driving license Request for dismissal of the case Appeal against a sentence imposed by the prosecutor Deprivation proceedings (confiscation of illegally obtained profits) Request for compensation after acquittal Objection to the inclusion of a convict’s profile in the DNA database Request (by the prosecutor) for the execution of a conditional sentence Objection to conversion of community service into custody Review proceedings Pardon

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International Criminal Law

Extradition European Arrest Warrant (extradition in Europe) Transfer of Sentenced Persons (conversion by the Dutch judge of a foreign prison sentence, after which it can be served in the Netherlands) Permission to transfer evidence to foreign authorities

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Penitentiary Law

Proceedings about violations of prisoners’ rights before the complaints committee of the prison (Commissie van Toezicht) Objection before the Selection Officer (Selectiefunctionaris) Appeal before the ‘Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles‘ (Raad voor Strafrechtstoepassing en Jeugdbescherming)

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Contract Law

Drawing up commercial trade contracts (purchase, sale, collaboration, agency, distribution, transport and storage) / Termination, dissolution

Employment and Benefits

Employment contract law; including the drafting and review of employment contracts / Individual and collective dismissal

Administrative and Public Law

Competition matters / Decisions, legislation, and policies / Declarations of intent, settlement agreements and anterior agreements