A Nottinghamshire man has been jailed after being caught laundering £115,000 of criminal cash.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators observed large amounts of cash being collected from Andrew Phillips, 56, in the Nottingham area and delivered to Michael McGrath, 44, in Kent. McGrath then deposited the ‘dirty’ money into a number of separate bank accounts in an attempt to make it look legitimate.
On 24 May 2012, HMRC officers observed a package being delivered to McGrath in Canterbury, Kent. McGrath was later seen visiting an address in Folkestone. The following day officers stopped a courier at Newport Pagnell motorway services on the M1, shortly after a package had been collected from Phillips in Nottingham. Officers found almost £60,000 in cash in the boot of the car.
Suspecting involvement in laundering criminal proceeds, HMRC officers arrested McGrath, Phillips and two others on May 25 2012. They seized £8,430 cash during a search of McGrath’s home address and a further £14,880 at a premises in Folkestone, where the occupier was arrested but later released from bail.
Phillips and McGrath were found guilty of money laundering offences at Maidstone Crown Court on 11 March 2016 after a two week trial. Phillips, of Pedmore Valley, Bestwood, Nottingham, was jailed for 15 months. McGrath, previously of Wingham in Kent, who was absent during his trial and is believed to be in Dubai, was sentenced in his absence to 25 months on April 15 2016. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
HMRC has already seized £80,000 which is subject to an application for forfeiture under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.