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Government to target corrupt solicitors in crime bill

The Home Secretary will announce new powers to jail corrupt solicitors, accountants and other associates of organised criminals in fresh legislation. The serious crime bill will hand a jail term of up to five years on those aiding organised crime

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Serious crime bill to take on 'corrupt solicitors'

The Government's new serious crime bill will tackle corrupt solicitors, accountants and other associates of organised crime by giving courts tougher powers to punish them, the Home Secretary has announced.

Home Secretary Theresa May's legislative programme will be announced in the Queen's speech. Credit: PA

The bill also includes strengthened powers for seizing criminal assets of convicted gang bosses and creates a new crime-by-association offence.

Courts will be able to prosecute white-collar criminals under the offence "participation in an organised crime group", under plans which will be announced as part of the Queen's speech tomorrow.

The Home Office says the measure will also target the so-called 'Mr Bigs', who plan, co-ordinate and manage criminal networks but are careful not to get their hands dirty in order to avoid prosecution.

Those convicted of the new offence will face up to five years' imprisonment and a new Asbo-style civil order restricting their travel and who they associate with, to deter them from returning to a life of crime.

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