Anti-money laundering expert sentenced for allowing criminal money to be sent abroad
The former chairman of a UK group that represents the payment services industry has been sentenced today for an offence in connection with the laundering of the proceeds of an investment fraud worth £850,000 and involving more than 60 victims.
Dominic Thorncroft, 56, was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months at Southwark Crown Court of one count of failing to alert the authorities to money laundering, one count of breaching money laundering regulations and four counts of retaining a wrongful credit. Thorncroft was the former Chair of the Association of UK Payment Institutions who worked with lawmakers and financial regulators providing anti-money laundering advice and training.
Thorncroft held himself out as a money laundering expert whose role was to protect members of the public and businesses from economic crime. However, he was a professional enabler to fraudsters, allowing his business to transfer their criminal proceeds abroad.
An investigation by the Metropolitan Police, which began in 2016, found evidence that linked Thorncroft to an investment fraud which took place in 2014. This investigation revealed that Thorncroft had allowed his Money Service Bureau business to be used by the fraudsters to transfer money to Hong Kong and China.
The CPS and the police were able to prove that Thorncroft should have known or suspected that the money passing through his business’s bank accounts was criminal property. Despite his substantial knowledge and expertise of money laundering, Thorncroft failed to alert the authorities to the suspicious activity and allowed it to continue.
Stephane Pendered of the CPS said: “Dominic Thorncroft did not commit the fraud himself. However, his actions have allowed £850,000 defrauded from 60 individuals to be dispersed across the world.
“Thorncroft promoted himself as an anti-money laundering expert but failed to live up to the standards he set for others, so when his business was clearly being used to launder criminal property, he failed to follow his own advice and report what was happening to the authorities.”
The CPS is committed to continue to work alongside law enforcement to bring prosecutions where professional enablers are seen to assist criminals in this way. The CPS is also committed to working more widely with banks, businesses, charities and beyond, to help educate others so that they can avoid becoming victims of economic crime.
This case was prosecuted by the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS, a dedicated prosecuting team which deals with the most serious, complex, and difficult economic crime cases, including corruption and money-laundering.
Notes to editors
- Stephane Pendered specialist prosecutor for the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
- Dominic Thorncroft (DOB: 19/09/64) was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work
- The Specialist Fraud Division is a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice.