A couple has been jailed for their part in a money laundering scam worth £357k.
Darren Winn, 55, formerly of The Weald, Canvey, was jailed for two years and eight months and Naomi Winn, 52, of the same address, received two years, suspended for 12 months, at Basildon Crown Court on March 9, 2017. She was ordered to complete 140 hours unpaid work.
Shilinder Singh, 44, of Roslyn Road, South Tottenham, received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years and was ordered two complete a two year supervision.
Kuldeep Gozra, 43, of Baxter Road, Upper Edmonton, fled the UK but was given a two year prison sentence in his absence.
They were both found guilty by a jury of money laundering at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday, March 13.
The Canvey couple received £69,000 for their part in moving the fraudulent money and, through the Proceeds of Crime Act, police were able to secure the sale of their property and recover some money for the victim.
In October 2014, police started a money laundering investigation after Airedale International Air Conditioning Ltd realised they had been a victim of fraud a month before.
The company had suffered damage in a fire in 2013 and had contracted a company to complete repair work.
A fraudster, who has not been identified, wrote a letter to Airedale International asking payments for this contractor to be paid into another account.
The letter appeared genuine and authentic.
In fact, the money was paid to the Winns through their transport company, Winn’s Transport Company, before they transferred a large portion of this money to Singh and Gorza. They then transferred this money to accounts abroad.
Investigating officer DC Herbert, of Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate’s Proactive Money Laundering Team, said: “The Winns along with Singh and Gorza were found to have received illegally gained funds before transferring it into different accounts.
“We are now taking every step to strip them off their assets. The Winns lost their former home and we were able to secure a custodial sentence for one of them. Gorza will be sent to prison if he steps foot in this country.
“Let his be a warning for criminals, we will continue to pursue you. We will stop you controlling businesses and have the ability to ensure you adhere to the orders that will restrict you.
“While the criminal case has concluded we are continue to take actions against these criminals through POCA and are hopeful in securing more funds for the victim.”