Financial Adviser Jailed for 3 Years

Sunderland-based financial adviser Anthony Heald has been jailed for three years for conspiring to launder £9.5 million that was stolen from Commerzbank 11 years ago, according to reports.

According to the Sunderland Echo , Heald was one of four men jailed over a plot which used offshore companies controlled by trusted associates and offshore banks in jurisdictions, including the Channel Islands and Cyprus.

A probe led the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) to Matthew Holmes and Donald Somers, who stole the money while working for Commerzbank in Germany. Both men were convicted in Germany six years ago but investigators were unable to trace the cash.

The Echo reported that Soca also discovered another bank employee, Leigh Greest, had recruited a specialist criminal money-laundering group headed by Herbert Austin to try to hide the money trail.

According to the paper Austin, together with Raymond Jewitt and Heald created an international system to receive and then get rid of the stolen money.

The stolen money was transferred to accounts of Equity Holdings and Investments Limited and Westfield Corporation Limited, in the UK.

Austin was put behind bars for eight years, Greest for two years, and Jewitt for five years.

To date, the equivalent of about £2.78 million in assets has been frozen in the UK, with more cash being frozen in Spain, Portugal and Australia.

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