Men cleared of laundering stolen Bermuda money
Two men accused of laundering nearly $1.8 million stolen from the Bermuda Government have been cleared by a jury in Wales.
Paul Charity, 52 and Joel Ismail, 42, both from Leicester, were found not guilty following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.
Charity, a financial adviser, was convicted of hiding information from police investigating the theft.
He admitted to police that he had deleted e-mails that sounded incriminating.
The court heard that one deleted e-mail included the phrase: “No more money-laundering department.”
Charity will be sentenced with Jeffrey Bevan, 50, from Cwmbran, who earlier admitted his involvement in the case.
Bevan, an accountant, pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring criminal property and ten counts of converting criminal property.
Charity and Mr Ismail were charged with assisting in the money laundering, but claimed they did not know the money was stolen.
Mr Ismail testified that he had known Bevan for a long time and had invested in homes in Swansea with him.
He also said Bevan had sent him e-mails from Bermuda with the false claim that he had won a promotion and a pay raise.
Bevan worked in the Accountant-General’s Office for nearly three years before he returned to Wales.
He made 52 payments totalling $2.45 million into his and his wife’s personal accounts over that time.
An investigation launched after Bevan left Bermuda revealed the series of bogus payments.
These included a $71,000 transfer that appeared to have gone to a care home and another of $89,000 in the name of management services consultancy Chevron International.
Investigators found Bevan had spent more than $400,000 of the stolen funds in Bermuda.
He then laundered almost $1.8 million of the money.
He used the cash to buy several homes, a Mercedes car and to fund his gambling habit.
Sentencing will take place on February 16.
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