Attorney General v Goodwin

CourtRoyal Court
JudgeWilliam Bailhache,Bailiff,Jurats Nicolle,Crill,Blampied,Ramsden,Thomas,Pitman
Judgment Date15 September 2016
Neutral Citation[2016] JRC 165
Date15 September 2016

[2016] JRC 165


(William Bailhache, Bailiff and Jurats Nicolle, Crill, Blampied, Ramsden, Thomas and Pitman):

Attorney General

D.J. Hopwood, Crown Advocate, for the Attorney General;

J.C. Gollop for the defendant.

Cases cited:

(1) Att. Gen. v. Bhojwani, [2010] JRC 116; 2010 JLR N [34]; further proceedings, 2011 JLR 249, applied.

(2) Att. Gen. v. Gomes, [2007] JRC 129; Royal Ct., July 3rd, 2007, unreported, applied.

(3) Att. Gen. v. Michel, [2007] JRC 120; Royal Ct., June 18th, 2007, unreported, distinguished.

(4) Att. Gen. v. Warren, 2009 JLR N [58]; [2009] JRC 234, considered.

(5) R. v. Monfries, [2003] EWCA Crim 3348; [2004] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 3, applied.

Legislation construed:

Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961 (Revised Edition, ch.24.750, 2007 ed.), art. 137(1):

“If any person fraudulently or negligently—

  • (a) delivers any incorrect statement required by Article 16;

  • (b) makes any incorrect statement, return or declaration in connection with any claims for any allowance, deduction or relief;

  • (c) submits to the Comptroller any incorrect accounts in connection with the ascertainment of his or her liability to income tax,

the person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding the aggregate of—

  • (i) level 3 on the standard scale, and

  • (ii) twice the amount, or in the case of fraud, 3 times the amount, of the difference between the amount of income tax payable on the assumption that the statement, return, declaration or accounts as delivered, made or submitted by the person were correct and the amount of income tax which would have been payable if the statement, return, declaration or accounts had been correct.”

Criminal Law—perverting course of justice—sentence—serious offence—12 months' imprisonment for attempt to conceal money laundering offence by providing falsified bank statements—to run concurrently with greater sentence for money laundering

Criminal Procedure—proceeds Of Criminal Conduct—money Laundering—sentence—court To Consider Appropriate Sentence For Antecedent Offence; Criminality In Laundering Is Assistance, Support And Encouragement To Criminal Conduct; Offender's Knowledge Of Antecedent Offence; Amount Of Money Laundered; And Duration, Scale And Sophistication Of Laundering—interests Of Jersey As Finance Centre Justify Element Of Deterrence

Income Tax—incorrect Statements—sentence— £2,000 Fine For 2 Years' Fraudulent Tax Returns—serious Offence Even Though No Additional Tax Would Have Been Payable If Correct Return Made—efficient Administration Of Tax System Depends On Honesty

The defendant had pleaded guilty to money laundering, two counts of tax evasion, and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

In relation to the money laundering offence, he had pleaded guilty to making deposits and transfers of funds between various bank accounts in his name, in the name of his business or his wife, and/or in their joint names, in Jersey and in the United Kingdom, knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that the deposits represented another person's proceeds of drug trafficking, including trafficking in Class A drugs. The amount of money laundered was £596,893 and the defendant had benefited in the sum of £325,970.78. The laundering had taken place between 2006 and 2011 and the defendant had spent some of the money on luxuries.

The defendant submitted, inter alia, that (a) he had not appreciated at the outset that he had been helping to launder the proceeds of drug trafficking; (b) he and his family had been threatened when he tried to end the arrangement; (c) an analogy with the appropriate sentences for drug trafficking was difficult because he had had no knowledge of the details of the underlying trafficking; (d) a starting point of 11–12 years was too high, particularly when compared to similar Jersey cases; and (e) he should be given some mitigation for the fact that the investigation had been very lengthy and the proceedings had been hanging over him for some time.

The charges of fraudulently omitting income from income tax returns concerned the returns submitted in respect of the years 2006 and 2007. The defendant had allegedly been unemployed during this period but in fact had earned £15,400 in 2006 and £15,100 in 2007. Had he included those sums on his returns, no additional tax would have been payable. Article 137(1) of the Income Tax (Jersey) Law 1961 provided for a fine not exceeding the aggregate of a fine at level 3 on the standard scale and the income tax that would have been payable had the correct declaration been made. As no additional tax would have been payable, the maximum fine was £2,000.

The offence of attempting to pervert the course of justice concerned 11 packages containing euros which had been posted to the defendant. When asked about the money, the defendant had provided to customs officials falsified bank statements seeking to show that he had recently purchased the euros in an attempt to conceal the money laundering offence.

Held, sentencing the defendant as follows:

(1) When sentencing a defendant for money laundering, relevant considerations included the following. There was not necessarily a direct relationship between the sentence for money laundering and the original antecedent offence but, where the antecedent offence could be identified, some regard would be had to the appropriate sentence for that offence when considering the sentence for laundering. The criminality in laundering was the assistance, support and encouragement it provided to criminal conduct. Regard should be had to the extent of the launderer's knowledge of the antecedent offence. The amount of money laundered was a relevant factor, as was the period of time during which the money laundering occurred. No distinction was to be drawn as a matter of law between the laundering of one's own proceeds of crime and the proceeds of crime committed by third parties. A professional money laundering service was not necessarily more serious than laundering the proceeds of a one-off fraud—it might be so but each case would depend on its own facts. The interests of Jersey as a finance centre justified an element of deterrence in the sentence (paras. 4–7).

(2) The defendant was sentenced to six years' imprisonment. The court also made a confiscation order in the sum of £214,237.82, to be paid within 18 months, with two years' imprisonment in default. The present case was particularly serious because the laundering had involved a considerable amount of money over a long period of time; the substance of the antecedent offence was drug trafficking, including Class A drugs; the offence had been based on greed and the defendant's desire for luxury products; and it was a relatively sophisticated offence in that many Jersey and UK bank accounts had been used, which had made the investigation much more...

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