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Launderers in the news - December 2012

19 December 2012

Online ticket scams and internet cafe cons feature in December's launderers in the news. This month we also look at some recent cases where the criminals have avoided lengthy jail sentences.

Britain's most prolific female fraudster jailed for 9 years - London

A woman who conned over £15 million out of various high street banks has been jailed for nine years. She used a series of fake identities to obtain mortgages which she used to buy luxury properties in London. The woman bribed a chartered surveyor with money and cars to produce reports which inflated the true value of the properties. She admitted two charges of conspiracy to launder money. Three accomplices were also convicted of money laundering offences and jailed for between 12 months and four years. The chartered surveyor was jailed for 6 years in 2011.
Read more on the Daily Mail website

Limehouse woman convicted for £9 million laundering racket - London

A woman and her fiancé laundered £9.2 million from their bureau de change for drug gangs by keeping illicit business off the books and using fake passports.  The couple were jailed for a total of 11 years.
Read more on the East London Advertiser website

Fraudster jailed for £4million ticket website scam - London

A man who set up an illegal online ticketing business has been jailed for money laundering. He created websites selling fake tickets to concerts and sporting events, including Premier League football fixtures and Wimbledon tennis matches. He had previously been disqualified from running similar kinds of companies for 15 years in 2009. He was sentenced to 22 months after pleading guilty to money laundering charges.
Read more on the BBC website

Internet cafe owner jailed for £1.3 million laundering scam - Gravesend

An internet cafe owner who also worked as a Western Union money transfer agent carried out over £1.3 million worth of transfers from his premises in Gravesend. The man created phantom customers using fake identification documents and forwarded the cash electronically to other countries. The money was transferred into the UK from the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe and usually sent on to Africa. The man was jailed for six years for transferring criminal property.
Read more on Kent Online

'Predatory' tradesmen jailed for money laundering - Cambridgeshire

Five tradesmen have been jailed after conning hundreds of elderly and vulnerable customers out of over £700,000. Victims were overcharged for building and repair work with some of them using their life savings to pay for the repairs. Three of the men were charged with money laundering offences and sentenced to between seven and 27 months imprisonment. The convictions follow a two-year investigation by Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards.
Read more on the Cambridgeshire Council website

Stolen car parts gang members jailed - Blackburn

Two men who were part of a 'highly organised criminal enterprise' involving the sale of stolen car parts have been jailed for money laundering. The gang stole £600,000 worth of cars and sold the parts on to innocent buyers through eBay and other websites. The men were discovered loading car parts into a large vehicle bound for Germany during a police raid. The men were sentenced to a total of six years' imprisonment for money laundering offences. A third man who admitted allowing his personal bank account to be used in the racket was given a 12 month suspended sentence and 240 hours' unpaid work.
Read more on the Lancashire telegraph website

Man jailed for Olympics ticket fraud - Southeast London

A former cab driver set up a fraudulent website that offered unlimited numbers of tickets to Olympic events. The site took over 450,000 Euros in sales in the first five weeks of its operation. Over 400 people fell victim to the scam. The man was arrested as he returned to the UK from Portugal and was discovered to have 17,500 Euros hidden in his shoes. He was jailed for four years for concealing criminal property and operating a fraudulent business.
Read more on the Action Fraud website

Businessman jailed for laundering drug money - Rochdale

A Rochdale businessman who ran three successful car leasing companies has been jailed for laundering over £220,000 of drug money for a local gang leader. The man admitted four counts of money laundering and was jailed for five and a half years. He has also been banned for being a company director for seven years and is facing a POCA investigation into his finances.
Read more on Rochdale online

Launderer hiding dirty cash in garden shed jailed - Buckinghamshire

A man has been jailed for three and a half years after a police search of his home found over £217,000 hidden in his garden shed and a safe. In an interview, the man admitted the cash was drug money and forensic tests linked it to a local organised crime gang. He was convicted of entering into a money laundering arrangement.
Read more on the Thames Valley police website

Gang member jailed for laundering drugs cash - Weston Coyney

A man hired to help launder drug money for a Staffordshire organised crime gang was arrested in a police swoop and found to have over £10,000 in cash in his possession. Whilst on bail he paid £500 into a fellow gang member's bank account. He admitted two charges of conspiracy to convert criminal property and was sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment.
Read more on This is Staffordshire

Brothel managers convicted for money laundering - Bishops Stortford

Three people have been found guilty of money laundering offences related to their involvement in running a brothel in Hitchin. One man was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for money laundering and 12 months' for managing a brothel. A second man and a woman were also convicted of money laundering and each given a 12 month community order and 200 hours' community service.
Read more on the Herts and Essex Observer website

Scam uncovered by online donations website

An unusual laundering methodology was recently uncovered by donations website, Gittip. Gittip allows users to donate small amounts of money to other users to fund charitable or productive work. The site found that five accounts were being used to move cash obtained using stolen credit card details from one account into a receiver account on the site. The scam was discovered after the scammers failed to create a convincing fake profile to explain why they had been given donations. Gittip has changed its processes to prevent future fraud.
Read more on the SC magazine website

A man was convicted recently for a similar offence in Swansea


A number of recent cases have seen the courts taking a more lenient approach to launderers.

Woman who laundered cash from armed raid walks free - Denton

Following an armed raid on a supermarket, a woman laundered thousands of stolen pound coins by changing it into notes and using it to buy goods and pay-off debts. She was not believed to have taken part in the raid but phone calls from her were traced to criminals involved in the robbery. A sat-nav with the address where the getaway car was bought was found at her home. She was given a nine month suspended sentence, 60 hours' unpaid work and an eight week night time curfew.
Read more on the Manchester Evening News website

Woman spared jail after laundering over £40,000 from employer - Bingley

A former payroll manager at a thermal clothing company dishonestly transferred over £40,000 into three bank accounts over 16 months. She used the money to pay off mortgage debts. The woman pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and six counts of money laundering. She was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 250 hours of unpaid work. The judge's decision to avoid sending the woman to prison was based on her 'wholly exceptional' family circumstances.
Read more on the Telegraph and Argus website

Charity worker escapes jail despite role in internet money scam - Darlington

A charity worker who allowed money from an internet scam to be placed into his bank account and who moved the money around has been spared jail. The court heard that the man often handed out his bank account details in pubs and clubs in Birmingham. Although the judge was not convinced by his explanation, he accepted that the defendant was of good character and had been used by 'others more criminally sophisticated than he is'.  The man was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.Read more on the Northern Echo website

Mortgage fraud mum spared prison sentence - North Wales

A mum who admitted mortgage fraud and two money laundering charges totalling over £40,000 has been spared a prison sentence. A crown court judge said the woman deserved 'the mercy of the court' after hearing that she was attempting to ensure a stable home for her family and had suffered great personal stress. She was given a 32 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and 120 hours' community service.
Read more on the Daily Post website


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