Man sent to jail for 250k money laundering scandal

A man who illegally obtained £250,000 through money laundering for his cousin has been jailed for four years.

Gurdev Singh (35) of Uppingham Road, Thurnby, pleaded guilty at Leicester Crown Court to committing the crime by setting up two motor dealership companies and using their bank accounts to pass through money for his cousin Gurdip Singh, who was sentenced to three years and 10 months in February.

Gurdev Singh also pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by breaking bankruptcy conditions by changing his name and buying property in the names of his mother and wife.

Prosecutor Andrew Peet said he had changed his name in October 2005 and declared himself bankrupt in May 2006.

It was not said in court why he had declared himself bankrupt.

Mr Peet said: "He said he was single, had no assets and had been reduced to living with a friend, claiming that he had £83,748.65 in debts."

He said, in reality, he was married with three children and had assets.

In September, 2006, he bought three properties in the names of his mother and his wife.

Gurdev Singh changed his name a second time to Bill Singh in July 2007 so he could continue to conduct business.

He set up two motor dealership businesses which he used to launder money for his cousin who, said Mr Peet, was a "father figure" to him.

Baljit Garcha, in mitigation, said Gurdev Singh was of previous good character, as supported by letters from his father and other relatives, and had always upheld the family name.

Mr Garcha said: "He has undergone a complete change of demeanour and, instead of being a cheerful, happy and outgoing person, has become very withdrawn."

He said his cousin Gurdip Singh had a very close relationship with him.

"He (Gurdip) is a father figure to him and he (Gurdev) went along with what he was told to do."

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Head said on the bankruptcy charges he had "systematically" lied when being interviewed by insolvency officers and filling in forms.

The judge said that, on the money-laundering offences, both businesses had been set up for the specific purpose.

He said: "You knew that the money he passed on was from proceeds of crime, theft and fraud by him. You sought to cover your tracks by lying."

Singh was sentenced to a year for the bankruptcy fraud and three years for money laundering, to run consecutively.

He was told he would spend half the time in custody and the remainder on warrant.

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