Leigh woman convicted of involvement in money laundering scam which supplied luxury cars to criminals
A Leigh woman has been found guilty of involvement in a money-laundering operation which also supplied luxury cars to help criminals avoid detection.
Molly Jones, 23, had denied conspiracy to steal, a charge brought after an intensive three-year investigation into the Bespoke VIP car hire company.
Specialist investigators trawled through 10,000 pages of bank statements and business receipts to prove the firm, based at London’s Canary Wharf, was “washing” criminal cash.
The trial followed £48,000 fraudulently taken from an un-named person’s bank account.
Jones, of Bohemia Chase, Leigh, stood trial alongside Bespoke VIP owner Ranjit Sagoo, 31, of Aintree Avenue, Newham, East London.
Sagoo was found guilty of acquiring and dealing in criminal property.
Three other Londoners admitted involvement in the scam at an earlier hearing.
Snaresbrook Crown Court was told Jones worked on Bespoke VIP’s accounts and created a joint account for fellow scammer Jemma Deabreau and the bank fraud victim.
Deabreau transferred the victim’s money into Sagoo’s business account. It was then transferred through another launderer, Figen Sahir, to Jones’s former boyfriend, Samir Banks.
Detectives from the Central Criminal Finance Team started probing the company’s dealings in 2012, the court heard.
Painstaking analysis of the firms accounts showed over five years, Sagoo had received more than £1million, for which he could not account.
It appeared the firm also hired Ferraris, Bentleys Lamborghinis and other luxury vehicles to known criminals, helping them move around the capital without being flagged by number plate recognition cameras.
Detectives also raided other car hire firms suspected of laundering cash and supplying vehicles to criminals and seized 19 cars worth almost £1million.
Det Con Ryan Mills, who led the Metropolitan Police investigation, said: “Sagoo and his associates tried to hide cash, through what is known as ‘layering’.
“They transferred the money through multiple bank accounts, in an effort to distance it as far as possible from the crime from which it originated.
“However, these verdicts show no matter how hard criminals try to hide illicit cash, no matter what complex system they set up, we will unpick it and prove what they have done.”
Jones, Sagoo and the three other men are due back at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 7 for sentencing.
Three other East Londoners, Jigdeep Sagoo, 25, Carl Robinson, 38, and Laura Buttigieg, 32, were found not guilty of charges brought in connection with the operation.