Two men have been sentenced to a total of 40 months in prison after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers caught them laundering £115,000 of criminal cash.
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 25 May 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 was jailed for 15 months on 11 March 2016. McGrath, who was absent during his trial and believed to be in Dubai, was sentenced in his absence to 25 months on 15 April 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.
Notes for Editors
1. Andrew Phillips, 20/03/1960, of Pedmore Valley, Bestwood, Nottingham, was found guilty of money laundering, contrary to Section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002. He was sentenced to 15 months in jail at Maidstone Crown Court on 11 March 2016.
2. Michael McGrath, 29/09/1971, previously of North Court Road, Wingham, Kent, currently living in Dubai, was found guilty in his absence of money laundering, contrary to Section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002. He was sentenced in his absence to 25 months at Maidstone Crown Court on 15 April 2016.
3. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a third man.
4. Photographs are available from HMRC’s Flickr site www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
5. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
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.