NCA Thwart £6 Million UK Money Laundering Enterprise

A former lottery winner, a successful property entrepreneur and a well-respected barrister have been at the eye of a money laundering storm which has resulted in £6 million worth of assets being recovered by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

In total, 11 properties are set to be handed over into governmental ownership following the successful High Court consent orders. This includes a number of high-profile properties scattered throughout expensive London postcodes in addition to the White Horse Hotel and Brasserie in Romsey.

The NCA investigation and civil recovery marks an eight-year long pursuit of 46-year-old businessman, Jonathan Nuttall, who’s illicit undertakings were first brought to the attention of the NCA following an investigation into a convicted drug dealer.

Having strategically structured his wealth into a number of companies and placing a lot of his assets into his wife’s, 2008 lottery winner Amanda Nuttall, name.

Over 100,000 financial transactions were collated and analysed, culminating in huge quantities of evidence suggesting money laundering; some of the proceeds of crime being traced to frauds committed in the UK, USA, Croatia, Seychelles, Russia and Austria as well as money embezzled from the Russian state.

In addition to using the support of his wife, it is alleged that Nuttall used experts in the legal and property sectors to help develop his laundered fortune.

Following a High Court consent order that was authorised by the NCA, property developer, Eric Grove, and barrister, Timothy Becker, have voluntarily handed over their property and assets, including a £100,000 Bentley, in order to avoid a 15-day trial that could’ve tarnished their reputations further.

Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said:

“Jonathan Nuttall amassed considerable wealth as a result of his and others’ unlawful conduct.

“He is not himself a party to the claim. That is because he structured his business affairs so that he didn’t hold any of the recoverable property himself, leaving everything in the name of his wife and others.

“Recovering assets that have been illegally obtained is a priority for the NCA and we are pleased that our commitment to this investigation into Mr Nuttall and his associates has paid off in agreeing this settlement.

“The defendants were of high standing within their communities with interest in local properties and businesses. Crime most certainly has not paid in this case.”

Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), said:

“Professional enablers such as barristers play a pivotal role in facilitating the movement and concealment of criminal finance, as seen from our many high-value investigations into illicit finance and asset denial.

“This brilliant result is part of the UK’s response to illicit finance. We will continue to be relentless in targeting criminals’ wealth regardless of where, and through whom, they choose to try to hide it.”

The result is considered a major triumph for the NCA and National Economic Crime Centre who have been faced with a wall of increasing laundered money entering the UK in recent years.

How does your firm ensure that the transactions you handle avoid contributing to money laundering?

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