Prize money was the money paid out to the crew of a Royal Manticoran Navy warship as a reward for a capture or impounding of starships.
After a prize or prizes were seized either by combat or through impounding a smuggler, a prize crew was detailed from the ship's company to return the vessel or vessels to the closest RMN base for judgement by the Admiralty Court. If the vessel or vessels in question were confiscated, its or their assessed value was added to the fine the owner had to pay.
The traditional award was 0.5 percent of the value of all the contraband seized.
The commanding officer of the ship that had taken the prize received 6 percent of the total awarded prize money, with the other officers receiving 24 percent and the noncommissioned officers and enlisted personnel splitting the remaining 70 percent among them.
By tradition, prize money was untaxable. (HH1)
In 1900 PD, the Admiralty Court ruled that the Hauptman Lines freighter RMMS Mondragon was seized for smuggling and awarded the prize money from the sale of both ship and cargo to the commander and crew of HMS Fearless, instantly turning Captain Honor Harrington into a millionaire. (HH1)