Money laundering bankrupt beat planning rules by disguising mansion as shed
A money laundering, cannabis growing bankrupt man who hid his luxurious mansion from UK planning authorities by disguising it as a shed has been sent to jail.
The six-bedroom mansion, called Shedley Manor, contained antiques, works of art and a secret room used for growing cannabis. An outbuilding had an established cannabis factory.
Alan Yeomans, 61, admitted laundering £2.2 million from criminal activities (NZ$4.1m) in 12 months through a company called B Clarke Limited.
It was one of three companies he was involved with running while bankrupt, which is illegal.
When Yeomans declared himself bankrupt, he told officials he had few possessions and lived in a shed in his mother’s backyard in Derbyshire, UK.
“In fact he lived in a six-bedroomed house built inside a barn to defeat planning regulations and which could be valued at more than a million pounds,” Glenn Wicks, who headed an investigation by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.
He described Yeomans as “a drug dealer, liar and fraudster” who “cynically made himself bankrupt”.
“The company avoided paying VAT and income tax was not paid out. All the turnover of the company was immediately taken out in cash and disappeared.”
Derbyshire police said that when they raided the mansion they were amazed to find it was filled with antiques, oil paintings and valuable jewellery.
The antiques and oil paintings were worth more than £83,000.
“Behind an oil painting was a secret door that hinged away from the wall to reveal a secret room, planned and built by Alan Yeomans, which had been used to grow cannabis and there was a separate room which revealed a very professional and sophisticated cannabis production line,” Sergeant Jon Lowes said.
The operation was powered by electricity taken from a source near Yeoman’s house in a very crude fashion, which was exceptionally dangerous and could very well have killed him.
Yeomans admitted failing to disclose assets, acting in the management of companies when banned, money laundering, growing cannabis commercially, and illegal possession of CS gas canisters.
Prosecutor Jonathan Ashley-Norman QC said Shedley Manor was “an extraordinary piece of accommodation – an agricultural shed inside which was built a residential property”, the Derby Telegraph reported.
“A second cannabis grow room was found in an outhouse, which comprised of three rooms, in which a cannabis factory had been established.”
it was “an organised and sophisticated operation”, with “a large quantity of specialist equipment”. In the outbuilding were 83 plants, which had an estimated yield of £40,000.
Judge Nirmal Shant QC jailed Yeomans for 6 and a half years.
She said she accepted that at one time Yeomans was “an honest, successful businessman” but then his companies went under, he was in more than £600,000 in debt and had become “a liar, a money launderer and someone involved in drugs”.