Seized Property Management Directorate
The Seized Property Management Act (SPMA) came into effect on September 1, 1993. It authorizes the Minister of Public Works and Government Services to: provide consultative and managerial services to law enforcement agencies in relation to property seized or restrained in connection with designated criminal offences; dispose of this property when the Courts declare forfeiture; and share the proceeds of the disposition.
Who we are
The Seized Property Management Directorate (SPMD) of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) manages assets seized or restrained under specific sections of the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Proceeds of Crime (Money-Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
What Seized Property Management Directorate does
SPMD performs a variety of functions related to the management of seized property. SPMD provides advice to police agencies and Crown prosecutors on the value of target assets and the estimated costs of management prior to seizure. Once an asset is seized by the police and an order of management or restraint has been issued by the appropriate judicial authority, SPMD takes possession and control of the reported seized assets or manages the restrained property in accordance with that order.
- Financial analysis of property before a seizure and recommendations to police on the financial viability of proceeding with the seizure;
- Analysis and evaluation of the best method to protect and maintain the value of the assets, and evaluation of the costs associated with asset management; and,
- Coordinating services such as towing, storing and inspection, as needed.
- Post Seizure (for assets seized or under restraint)
- Inspection, appraisal, administration, storage, protection and maintenance of seized or restrained property;
- In consultation with the Department of Justice, settlement of third-party claims (i.e. from tenants and/or financial institutions) on seized property; and,
- Advances of funds to preserve property.
- After legal proceedings are completed, if the sentencing of the accused includes forfeiture of assets, SPMD begins the asset disposal process;
- Coordinating the sharing of proceeds with provincial and foreign governments in accordance with the Forfeited Property Sharing Regulations of the Seized Property Management Act; and,
- Returning non-forfeited assets to their owner(s).
The process from start to finish
After a law enforcement agency investigation is completed, the police involved in the case and the Department of Justice make the final decision on the seizure of assets, laying of charges and prosecution.
Moveable assets are seized by police under a special search warrant or management order authorized by a judge or justice. Real property is addressed through a restraint order signed by a judge or justice.
Custody of seized assets is then turned over to the SPMD, which engages the appropriate professionals to manage, maintain, and safeguard the assets while legal proceedings are concluded.
If the accused is found guilty, sentencing may include the forfeiture of the assets. If there are no appeals, SPMD begins the process of disposing of the assets. Normally SPMD utilizes public sales and auctions to ensure market value is obtained. Proceeds of disposal, net of all costs associated with the management of assets, are shared with the involved jurisdictions in accordance with the Forfeited Property Sharing Regulations.
Types of assets
Seized property could be any asset acquired as proceeds of crime, or any object used to commit a crime. SPMD takes into account the specific requirements of each asset to maintain its value and condition.
Seized property may include:
- Cash, equities, loans, RRSPs, bank accounts, lottery tickets, life insurance policies, personal loans and mortgages;
- Vehicles, motorcycles, boats and aircraft;
- Real property;
- Personal property such as jewelry;
Managing seized businesses
After SPMD does an inspection and preliminary appraisal of a business in the pre-seizure stage, it usually contracts out with industry and government for the services of appropriate professionals for the best management approach. SPMD is responsible for managing the business in accordance with provisions of a restraint order during the time the case is before the court.
Disposal of assets
After a 30-day appeal period, SPMD disposes of forfeited assets.
Moveable assets are normally sold through public sales.
Cash is usually reported and forwarded to SPMD within 90 days of seizure. If forfeited, the money is shared according to the Forfeited Property Sharing Regulations.
Real property is disposed of using PWGSC Realty Services or private sector realty brokerages.
For further information
As of April 1, 2016 the Seized Property Management Directorate’s 1002 e-Forms application will no longer be supported and will be removed from its web site until further notice. Please communicate with us at SPMD.Registration@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca to request PDF versions of our 1002 forms or if you have any questions.
- Seized Property Management Act
- Forfeited Property Sharing Regulations
- Seized Property Disposition Regulations
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