R v. Z - A Dentist. Leeds Crown Court.
An unusual case where the police and prosecution could not identify the criminal activity which generated the criminal monies!
It was alleged that our client Z had collected in excess of £3.6 million in cash and then sent that money overseas by the use of international transfer facilities. The prosecution alleged that by taking all the circumstances into account, including the conduct of the defendant and the way the cash was collected, converted and then sent overseas could lead to only one possible conclusion, that being, the cash collected must be the proceeds of crime.
Our client had maintained that he was acting in the capacity as an agent and collected this money on behalf of others for which he was paid a commission. Our client maintained that due to his professional status, being a dentist, he was identified and trusted to handle large volumes of cash and did so for a an old school friend. However, the cash that was collected was deposited into a number of company bank accounts which were controlled by the defendant or his wife. Those monies were then sent to Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Dubai, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA. Our client maintained that the funds were in exchange for legitimate goods and services which had been supplied on receipt of the cash.
Our client's wife had maintained that she had been appointed in the capacity as a figurehead director in relation to one of the companies and as a company secretary (in name only), in relation to another of the companies. She was also a shareholder in a number of other companies, but did not take out any financial interest or benefit and neither did she actively participate in the management, responsibilities and duties of any of the companies concerned. However, because she had been involved in the opening of a number of bank accounts that had been used by the defendant, the prosecution alleged that she had foreknowledge of the conspiracy to launder money.
During the course of the proceedings, we uncovered invoices with 3rd party companies supplying goods and services to our client and his connected companies. The prosecution did not accept these as genuine and the matter proceeded to trial.
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