UK: A fraud case involving £357,000 illegally obtained from air conditioning company Airedale has resulted in prison sentences for two of those involved in laundering the money.
Following the fire at Airedale’s factory in 2013, a fraudster, who has not been identified, wrote a letter to the Leeds-based company asking for payments to a building contractor to be paid into another account. The letter appeared genuine and authentic.
The money was paid to a transport company owned by husband and wife Darren and Naomi Winn from Canvey, Essex.
A large portion of the money was subsequently transferred to Shilinder Singh of South Tottenham and Kuldeep Gozra of Upper Edmonton. They then transferred this money to accounts abroad.
They were found guilty by a jury of money laundering at Basildon Crown Court last week.
Shilinder Singh received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years and was ordered to complete a two year supervision order.
Kuldeep Gozra fled the UK but was given a two year prison sentence in his absence.
Darren Winn, 55, was jailed for 32 months and his wife Naomi Winn, 52, received 24 months, suspended for 12 months. She was ordered to complete 140 hours unpaid work.
The couple received £69,000 for their part in moving the fraudulent money. Through the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) police were able to secure the sale of their property and recover some money for the victim. Another POCA hearing is due to take place at Basildon Crown Court on May 19.
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 of 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.”
He also added that they were hopeful in securing more funds for the victim.