Successful money laundering and fraud prosecution for Alex Menary
June 25, 2014
Andrew Seidu was sentenced today, 25 July 2014, to a total term of 4 years’ imprisonment for offences of Money Laundering and Fraud after an 8-day trial before HHJ Batty.
Alex Menary from Exchange Chambers prosecuted the case on behalf of West Yorkshire CPS.
The defendant had involved himself in a sophisticated international advance fee fraud, where victims from Australia to the USA were persuaded to part with over £28,000 in exchange for the promise for a share in much larger funds. The money was channelled quickly through two business accounts the defendant had set up, as the judge found, specifically for that purpose, and withdrawn quickly in cash.
At the same time the defendant established a business called The Beauty Spot in Ossett with his then girlfriend. Using his status as a University Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, The London School of Business and Finance, and a Master of International E-Business the defendant set up a Western Union Money Transfer Franchise. In the course of the business he hijacked genuine transactions, withdrawing nearly £128,000 from the Western Union system to make payments to bogus receivers: checks with the passport office revealed 118 of the 153 passport numbers used were false. He then sent £154,000 through the system to his criminal associates in Nigeria, again using details that were false.
The fraud came to light when the victims of the frauds complained to the UK Banks. The defendant maintained at trial that he was the victim of a fraud perpetrated by friends of his who had asked to use his accounts for legitimate purposes. In addition all of the payments sent and received from the shop were genuine.
Sentencing the defendant, HHJ Batty noted that the defendant played a central role in a sophisticated and well organised fraud, and ahd exploited the naivety of his girlfriend at the shop. The sentence passed had to reflect the seriousness of the offending.