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Ex-bank manager sentenced for £255,000 money laundering

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A former Barclays Bank manager has been sentenced today (31 May 2022) for helping to launder £255,000.

Heather Smalley, 31, was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years, for entering an arrangement which facilitated the laundering of another person’s criminal proceeds, at Warwick Crown Court. Smalley had pleaded guilty to this charge on 23 March, at Coventry Magistrates' Court.

Smalley entering the bank
Smalley entering the bank

Smalley had worked for Barclays Bank for 14 years and was the bank manager at a Coventry branch. On six occasions, between February and October 2020, she arranged to take in bags of low value £10 and £20 notes from an unnamed man “K” and replaced them with “clean” bank-ordered £50 notes. The amounts varied between £25,000 and £65,000 in each transaction, with an overall amount of £255,000 involved in these offences.

Exchanging cash in this way, without any audit trail of it passing through a customer bank account, ran contrary to Barclays Bank’s anti-money-laundering policies which put a maximum cap of £100.00 for cash exchanges.

Smalley’s case illustrates how organised criminals use professional facilitators to launder their criminal proceeds.

Andrew Cant of the CPS said: “Smalley held a position of responsibility at the bank and, as an experienced manager, she must have known that her actions were contrary to the bank’s money-laundering rules. Her arrangement to exchange large quantities of cash for the unnamed individual was deeply suspicious.

“This case highlights the importance for those who work in the financial services sector of ensuring compliance with money-laundering procedures.”

The CPS is committed to work alongside law enforcement and investigatory authorities to prosecute economic crime including where it is identified in the financial services sector.

Notes to editors

  • Andrew Cant is a Specialist Prosecutor for CPS Serious Economic Organised and International Directorate (SEOCID)
  • SEOCID was launched on 1 April 2022 and is the CPS response to the changing nature of crime by bringing together specialists in organised and economic crime as the lines in this criminality is being blurred even more
  • Heather Smalley (DOB: 19 July 1990) was sentenced to two years' imprisonment suspended for two years on the charge of being involved in an arrangement that facilitated the laundering of criminal proceeds on behalf of another. Smalley has also been ordered to pay £510 costs plus victim surcharge, undertake 150 hours of unpaid work, and required to wear an electronic tag for three months
  • Money obtained from certain crimes is termed "dirty" and needs to be "cleaned" to appear to have been derived from legal activities, so that banks and other financial institutions will deal with it without suspicion.

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