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Cleaning up the cash

Member: Helen Gregory

Money laundering is the process of converting the proceeds of crime into assets to give the appearance of legitimacy.

It includes all forms of handling or possessing criminal property, including possessing the proceeds of one’s own crime and facilitating any handling or possession of criminal property.

Being found guilty of money laundering can carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years and an unlimited fine in the UK.

However, following a recent case in Liverpool, a daughter who laundered £8,510 of cash derived from burglaries carried out by her father walked free from court.

She said she had no knowledge of the crimes and only agreed to pay cash into her account and then transfer it to her father because of the ‘dynamics’ of their relationship.

The money trail leading to the daughter was investigated by forensic experts who explored what had happened to the proceeds of Gary Platt’s crimes after he was jailed for six years in February 2020 for his part in a Liverpool gang’s illegal activities.

Following the spate of burglaries that netted the crooks more than £45,000, Platt asked his daughter to pay cash sums of money into her bank account and then transfer them to his account.

She agreed in court that she should have asked more questions about the origins of the cash but felt she could not question her father in that way.

Helen Gregory, Forensic Director at Milsted Langdon, said: “Under the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 (POCA) the Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) has the power to recover profits made from criminal activity.

“The CPS and the police will use forensic accountants to look at how the convicted criminal tried to legitimise any cash they stole.

“In this case, it was clear that the money led to the daughter. However, because the financial transactions showed that she did not benefit from the crime, the prosecution agreed that she was ‘being used by her father for the depositing of illicit funds’.”

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