West Law Report

Handling proceeds of fraud

Posted in Times Law Report by mrkooenglish on October 18, 2008

From The TimesOctober 3, 2008

Handling proceeds of fraud
Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
Published October 3, 2008
Regina v Mehta
Regina v Sharman
Regina v Reardon
Regina v Ratcliff

Money-launderers who offered a service to numerous criminals via bureaux de change or hawala banking were often as culpable as the criminals generating the money, if not more so, and often more culpable than those who handled the proceeds of a particular fraud.

The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division (Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Field and Judge Richard Brown) so stated in a reserved judgment on July 15, 2008, when allowing sentence appeals by Durgesh Mehta, Matthew Sharman, Gerald Reardon and Peter Ratcliff, who were convicted on October 25, 2006 at Canterbury Crown Court (Judge Williams and a jury) of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a substantial carousel value-added tax fraud, and by Mehta, of additionally cheating the Revenue of a substantial carousel VAT fraud and reducing Mehta’s ten-year prison sentence to seven years and the others’ eight-year sentences to six.

LORD JUSTICE HUGHES said that while each case would depend on its own facts, general launderers were not merely as culpable as the criminals generating the money but sometimes more so and often more culpable than those who engaged in the handling of the proceeds of a particular fraud.

In cases such as the present, there was relatively little difference in culpability between the architects of the fraud and the architects of the specific money-laundering which was essential to its success.

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