“Money laundering” is a term which applies to a wide range of conduct involving the transferring or disguising of the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Those proceeds may be in the form of cash, electronic funds transfers, real property or any other asset. The various anti-money laundering laws and regulations give rise to two areas where companies and individuals often require legal advice and representation:

  • Anyone who is involved in the transferring, converting or disguising of criminal property (i.e., the proceeds of any criminal conduct), will be guilty of a criminal offence if they knew or suspected that they were dealing with the proceeds of crime;
  • There are numerous anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations that place obligations on companies and individuals to prevent money laundering. This includes obligations to have adequate compliance and due-diligence systems in place, and also to report suspicious activity by making suspicious activity reports (SARs). A failure to comply with these requirements may give rise to criminal liability or civil/regulatory penalties.

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors’ experienced lawyers are experts in advising and representing individuals and companies facing investigations and prosecution for money laundering offences. This includes dealing with allegations of laundering sums running into the tens of millions of pounds, passing through multiple jurisdictions in hugely complex financial arrangements. Our expert fraud lawyers work with the leading barristers and accountancy experts to challenge the evidence in such cases, ensuring that a practical and realistic strategic approach is taken from the outset, in order to secure the best possible outcome.

Our lawyers have substantial expertise in advising and representing individuals and businesses in relation to:

  • The need to make a suspicious activity report (SAR)
  • Challenging restraint orders
  • Money laundering compliance procedures
  • Regulatory obligations
  • Regulatory / civil proceedings for inadequate AML systems or failure to report
  • Obtaining consent to process transactions
  • Unexplained Wealth Orders

Stokoe Partnership Solicitors is rated as one of the leading criminal defence firms for Financial and White-Collar crime by both of the main legal directories, Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

Notable cases

We acted for a senior partner of a London-based commercial law firm facing money laundering and fraudulent trading charges relating to a $43 million fraud on the United Nations. The case involved multi-jurisdictional investigations in the UK, USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Congo and the Netherlands which in turn raised highly complex jurisdictional disclosure issues. Our client was convicted at first instance, but following an appeal against the conviction, the Court of the Appeal subsequently quashed the client’s conviction and no re-trial was ordered.

We represented two clients in an alleged £9 million money laundering operation conducted by the then Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). One of our client’s was said to be the principal organiser and mastermind of an organised criminal network controlling a professional, international operation responsible for laundering money through the Middle East (Dubai and Iran). The trial involved the instruction of a number of experts, including a Hawala banking expert, forensic accountants and an expert on Iranian affairs, politics and fundamentalism.

We represented a client said to be part of a criminal organisation defrauding companies and businesses (including a professional football club) to the value of in excess of £160 million. The criminal organisation pretended to be employees of relevant financial institutions and directed their victims to redistribute the monies held in their accounts to accounts provided by the group. There then followed a sophisticated laundering scheme where the monies were diverted into offshore accounts belonging to fictitious companies and individuals.

We represented two clients in one of the largest criminal investigations undertaken by the MET police centred on the purported head of the number one crime family in London. Our clients were said to have assisted in concealing the purported crime boss’ proceeds of crime.

We successfully represented a client alleged to have perpetrated a fraud on Coutts Bank by obtaining commercial loans from the bank on false pretences, and money laundering the proceeds of an organised crime group in various jurisdictions, including but not limited to the UK, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa and Thailand. The client was acquitted of all charges following a successful half time submission.

We represented two clients alleged to be drug barons who evaded capture for over a decade with an estimated turnover of their business of £1 billion. On their arrest law enforcement authorities had seized over £5million in cash, which at the time was one of the largest cash seizures in the UK.

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15 Jul 2024

Partner Ernest Aduwa comments on diary evidence in The Daily Mail

Partner Ernest Aduwa comments on how diary evidence can play a pivotal role in criminal prosecutions and murder trials.