Published: Friday, 27th October 2023
A money launderer who allowed payments to his bank account on behalf of rogue traders operating in Royal Greenwich has been sentenced to three years in custody following our investigation.
Simon Harley, 39, from Bordon, East Hampshire, received £8,000 into his bank account on behalf of a rogue tree surgeon who had billed the amount to a local resident to cut down their tree. After a further £10,000 payment was requested by the rogue tree surgeon the concerned resident contacted Royal Greenwich’s Trading Standards Team.
The money laundering was discovered after a quick-witted Trading Standards Officer began a financial investigation which identified Mr Harley’s role in the scam in 2018.
Following a police investigation, Mr Harley, pled guilty at St Alban’s Crown Court and was sentenced to three years in custody on 25 September. His accomplice, Ms Natasha Butcher also received a sentence of nine months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and 120 hours unpaid work for money laundering.
Cllr Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: “In Royal Greenwich we want to ensure that everyone is safe and feels safe. If people decide to help rogue traders by allowing their bank accounts to be used to launder money, they should be fully aware that they are also liable to be prosecuted and may receive substantial prison sentences. There is no excuse for facilitating crime.
“We will continue to do all we can to crack down on rogue traders and their accomplices who seek to take financial advantage of residents in our borough.”
If residents are concerned that they have been subject to a rogue trader, they can contact the Royal Borough of Greenwich's Trading Standards Team on 07714 072979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.