Money laundering wife splashed drug profits on house project
March 5, 2013, 11:36 am
A woman who spent her familys drug profits on a new home, lavish refurbishments and expensive cars has appeared in court on money laundering offences.
The 32-year-old – whose husband and brother were jailed last year for 10 and eight years, respectively, for drug dealing – put a £33,000 cash deposit down on her new Great Barr home and splashed out £45,000 on a renovation project.
Another £55,000 was spent on new cars…yet she claimed the spending spree was funded by squirreling away savings from her £15,000 a year Housing Officer job with Birmingham City Council.
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West Midlands Polices financial investigators probed the womans bank accounts and found large, persistent cash deposits paid in by her crooked family.
And at Stafford Crown Court on Friday (March 1) she was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 50 days unpaid work in a womens refuge. She was found guilty of money laundering at an earlier court hearing.
West Midlands Police will now commence Proceeds of Crime (POCA) action in order to recover any assets believed to have been bought using ill-gotten gains.
Detective Inspector Martin Brennan, said: “She allowed her accounts to be used by her husband, brother and brother-in-law to hide criminal property and cash…she knew exactly what she was doing.
“We were able to show that, after her monthly outgoing, she had very little money left from her council job let alone the kinds of sums she claimed to be saving in order to make such extravagant purchases.
“West Midlands Polices Gangs & Organised Crime Unit has had great success tackling drug supply in Birmingham – but our work doesnt end at locking up the drug conspirators, importers and dealers. We look at the money behind that criminality and anyone found laundering drug profits can expect their day in court.”
Officers found cash payments totalling £37,000 had been paid into the 32-year-olds account between 2005 and 2010, whilst she had savings in excess of £25,000.
Around £45,000 was spent on transforming her Great Barr home, including a new driveway and porch (pictured before and after) and re-decorating throughout.
Det Insp Brennan, added: “The accounts have been frozen and property seized…well be looking to recover all criminal assets and put the money back into the public purse.
“No-one involved in the supply, preparation, sale or financing of drugs in Birmingham can rest easy – we are infiltrating their networks and offenders face long prison terms plus losing any cash or belongings obtained through drug dealing.
“Drugs bring misery to the lives of many people and communities where this kind of activity takes place, whilst drugs are linked to wider criminality like burglary. Its a priority issue for us to tackle and, as our on-going operation proves, weve taken giant strides to clean up Birminghams streets.”