Former UK Payments Group Chair Found Guilty In Money Laundering Case

Former UK Payments Group Chair Found Guilty In Money Laundering Case

June 24, 2021 at 02:21AM

Dominic James Edward Thorncroft, a 56-year-old former anti-money laundering (AML) expert, has now been convicted of money laundering, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

He was convicted of laundering the proceeds of an investment scam worth 850,000 pounds (about $1.2 million), according to FT.

Thorncroft was the chair of the Association of U.K. Payment Institutions for 14 years. In that job, he was tasked with the interests of the money remittance sector. He often promoted himself as an expert, and his group provided AML advice and training to members of parliament and financial regulators, FT reported.

That all changed in 2016 when he was found to be linked with an investment fraud case from 2014, according to FT. Prosecutors said he had been letting fraudsters use his Money Service Bureau business to transfer criminal proceeds of investment fraud to Hong Kong and China.

They said he had to have known about the crimes. Despite his expertise, he had never alerted the authorities, FT reported.

Prosecutor Stephane Pendered said that while Thorncroft didn’t personally commit the fraud, he had allowed 850,000 pounds to be defrauded from 60 individuals and cast all over the world, and he had failed to live up to his own standards, according to FT.

Thorncroft was convicted Wednesday (June 23). His charges included one count of money laundering, one count of breaching money laundering regulations and four counts of retaining a wrongful credit, FT reported.

Regulators have spent time lately cracking down on fraud, with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and National Crime Agency working to fight fraud. Analysts say money laundering and terrorist financing amounts to hundreds of billions of pounds every year.

The pandemic has seen a glut of new money laundering cases, with the world largely moving online to fight the coronavirus. PYMNTS reported that the weakening economy as the pandemic began made it easier for fraudsters to launder money by investing in failing businesses and moving funds through financial networks by restructuring credit or old loans.