Accountant sent down for £24m money laundering scam

Accountant sent down for £24m money laundering scam



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An accountant has been sent to prison for five and a half years, after attempting to steal almost £24 million from HSBC, according to the Sleaford Standard newspaper.

Robert Hulme was involved in a failed ploy to cheat the high street bank out of millions in 2008, but after suspicions were raised the fraud was never carried out.

The 52-year-old man pleaded guilty to three charges of money laundering at the Old Bailey court and now faces five and a half years behind bars for his part in the failed multi-million plot to steal and hide the money in a number of companies.

Hulme’s sentence is to run consecutively with a nine-year sentence imposed on him in 2008 for VAT fraud – meaning his earliest release date will be January 2016.

Keith Mitchell, defending, told the court that Hulme had lost his wife and home, saying: “He has lost everything.”

Judge Anthony Leonard said that he believed the defendant was already living off money gained by fraudulent actions.

He also said even though he recognised Hulme was not the main player in the fraud, his involvement was still serious and he was to receive £1 million from the scam.  

“I recognise you were not at the top of the tree, but you were on the next layer down,” the judge said.

In July of this year Andrew Beveridge,  a 40-year-old commodities trader based in Blackpool, was imprisoned for eight years for his involvement in the money laundering scam.

At the time of his trial, Beveridge told the jury he had only acted on the instructions of Hulme – who was his client – and had believed the money he transferred was from legitimate sources.

Cash was stolen from individual accounts and then transferred to a number of different companies.

Beveridge was receiving a five per cent “commission” for his involvement, and was caught when the financial authorities questioned a transfer of theft from HSBC.

Beveridge was convicted at Southwark Crown Court, and Judge Anthony Leonard told him: “I do not accept this is any different from, for example, drug money.

“This was a large-scale fraud on the banking system.”

Beveridge was working as a commodities trader at XFP Solutions when the offences were committed between December 2007 and April 2008.

Beveridge had said he was approached by Robert Hulme –  who he claimed was the mastermind of the scam – and asked if he could clean up the money in return for a percentage of the money.

Beveridge was an undischarged bankrupt at the time, and agreed to help in the scam.

He successfully stole £372,000 from two

Lloyds TSB

customer bank accounts by moving the sum through a money services bureau to a series of different company accounts.

In July 2008, former HSBC clerk Jagmeet Channa was jailed for nine years for illegally transferring £72million out of the bank.

By Dawn Murden

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