Money laundering exposed by undercover journalists


Journalists at the London Times are to be congratulated for today, 4 December 2019, exposing a web of alleged money laundering centred on a company formations business based in London.

Of course, the story was originally covered by Guardian journalist Oliver Bullough in 2016 and in his 2018 book ‘Moneyland’.

The Times reported: ‘Leaked documents show links to businesses set up by Formations House, a London-based company at no. 29 Harley Street, that establishes and helps to manage companies, and scams involving more than £300 million.’

‘These include vintage wine frauds, fake stock market tipsters, dodgy gold and diamond traders, overpriced land investment schemes and a Hollywood heist carried out by a bogus aristocrat.’

One of its off-the-shelf companies dates back to 2002 and is for sale for £75,000 while a more recently incorporated company in June 2018 sells for £99.

The message for accountants is to make sure that your AML take-on procedures are thorough. The best place to stop a money launderer from becoming one of your clients is at the beginning of the business relationship.

Our new fully updated AML Policies & Procedures Manual includes a section that fully deals with these requirements and is now available here

It is fully updated for the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts, 2010 to 2018 which came into force on 26 November 2018. It retails at €150+VAT.

See also our on-demand webinars on AML, accessible at any time.

Other webinar topics include Investment Property Accounting, FRS 105, Common Errors in FRS 102 Accounting and the latest on FRS 105 and company law, visit our online webinar training website. Once viewing is completed, customers will receive a CPD Certificate confirming their learning.