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Accountant jailed for laundering money via Hong Kong and New Zealand

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An Australian law enforcement agency conducted an investigation into a suspect believed to be involved in laundering money. AUSTRAC information linked the suspect to multiple companies and structured cash deposits. The suspect was charged with providing incomplete information in relation to a financial transaction.

The suspect pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and received a two-year good behaviour bond.

Over a two-year period an account held by the main suspect received more than 80 'structured' cash deposits, as a well as a small number of cheque deposits . The cash and cheques were deposited into an account held by the suspect. The suspect, an accountant, regularly consolidated the funds from the various deposits and transferred the funds electronically to third-party domestic accounts. Authorities believed the suspect received a percentage of the funds he transferred as a commission for his services.

Although the exact source of the funds laundered by the suspect is unknown, authorities identified possible links between the funds and the importation of drugs into Australia. AUSTRAC information linked the suspect to approximately 50 companies and revealed that the structured cash deposits into the suspect's account were made on behalf of both companies and individuals.

AUSTRAC also received four suspicious matter reports (SMRs) from reporting entities detailing structured cash deposits undertaken by the suspect.

Further analysis by AUSTRAC identified that the suspect also undertook international funds transfer instructions (IFTIs) worth more than AUD700,000 to Hong Kong and New Zealand. The funds were transferred from accounts held in the suspect's name to overseas business accounts in amounts ranging from AUD400 to AUD50,000. In some instances the offshore recipient businesses shared the same name as businesses operated by the suspect in Australia.

The suspect was charged under section 31 of the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 and section 142(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Act 2006 for providing incomplete information in relation to a financial transaction. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment and received a good behaviour bond for a period of two years.

Offence Money laundering
Customer
  • Individual
  • Business
Industry Banking (ADIs)
Channel
  • Electronic
  • Physical
Report type
  • IFTI
  • SMR
Jurisdiction
  • Domestic
  • International – New Zealand, Hong Kong
Designated service
  • Account and deposit-taking services
  • Remittance service (money transfer)
Indicators
  • Multiple domestic transfers to third-party accounts
  • Multiple international funds transfers which are inconsistent with the established customer profile
  • Structured cash deposits into a bank account from third parties
  • Structured financial transactions in personal and business names
Last modified: 30/07/2015 15:36