A man has been convicted of three counts of money laundering and sentenced to four and a half years in jail following a joint investigation by the FSA and City of London Police.
Michael McInerney acted as a banker for fraudulent share sales orchestrated by Tomas Wilmot, Kevin Wilmot and Christopher Wilmot, who between them controlled a syndicate of boiler rooms that defrauded an estimated 1,700 investors out of £27.5m.
In August 2011, all three Wilmots were jailed for a total of 19 years. McInerney, who was first arrested on October 31, 2007, has been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.
Early on in their scam, the Wilmots banked the proceeds of their fraudulent sales in two UK bank accounts in South East England, where they were based. In late 2005, however, they decided to enlist the services of McInerney to put a distance between themselves and the money.
McInerney opened bank accounts for three different companies – Rock Solid Asset Management, Worldwide Assets Limited and Universal Management Services – which were purportedly for property management purposes. But, in reality, they were set up to receive the proceeds of the boiler room fraud.
McInerney arranged the accounts so that cheques could be accepted into them from a variety of different company names and £12m was paid in to these accounts between January 2006 and October 2007.
McInerney also arranged transfers of funds to offshore accounts in Jersey and Malta. These accounts had been established after companies were registered in the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Gibraltar. In turn the funds were distributed to accounts in Hong Kong, Dubai, Canada, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Austria. The Wilmots and others involved in the scheme operated these accounts.
FSA acting director of enforcement and financial crime Tracy McDermott says: “This is another key step in our continuing fight against the serious threat to consumers that is share fraud. McInerney played a key role in the Wilmots’ complex and elaborate con and he is now paying a very heavy price for doing so.
“This sentence sends a clear message that the court takes boiler room offences seriously and will hand down significant sentences to those involved in them.”