A man found guilty of laundering the proceeds from a £5.3 million alcohol smuggling plot has been jailed today for five and a half years.
John Pointing, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said:
“Piotr Terpilowski and his partner, Iwona Roman, received substantial amounts of cash which they knew were the profits from crime. They laundered some of the money to buy a BMW X6 and transferred large amounts to bank accounts in Poland. The couple seemed to believe they were invincible, even continuing the fraud after their arrest. They were wrong and are now living with the consequences of their crime.”
Terpilowski was arrested in August 2011 on suspicion of money laundering offences when officers seized a rucksack he was carrying containing £20,433 cash outside his home in Farrant Avenue, Wood Green. Officers also found £100,000 cash in his car and £266,025 hidden in his house under his bed and on top of his laundry basket.
Terpilowski was previously a director of Drinks Import Ltd, London, and his partner acted as company secretary. They reported that the business had stopped trading in October 2010. However, investigations showed around £800,000 in cash had been deposited into a bank account of Drinks Import Ltd and transferred to Poland in 2011.
Roman was arrested in March 2012 at the couple’s new home address in Wood Green. Paperwork seized during a search showed she had a bank balance of £63,194.68. The money had been received through bank transfers and large cash payments, which were also transferred to Poland - £10,000 a day for a week, even after the initial cash seizures.
The cash seized was reclaimed for the UK’s public finances at City of London Magistrates Court on Friday 21 February 2014.
Notes for editors
1. Photographs of the defendants and cash seized are available from HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk or on request.
2. Details of the defendants sentenced today 28 February 2014 at Wood Green Crown Court:
· Piotr Terpilowski (DOB 26.07.76), a Polish national of Station Road, Wood Green, London N22, and previously of Farrant Avenue, Wood Green, London N22, was found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
· Iwona Roman (DOB 08.12.74), a Polish national of Station Road, Wood Green, London N22, and previously of Farrant Avenue, Wood Green, London N22, was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 180 hours community service.
Both were charged on 25 June 2012 with money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
3. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.