Danny McCance 12 Jul 2019 11:07am

FCA reveals Richard Baldwin money laundering conviction

As reporting restrictions have been lifted the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that in 2017 luxury watch dealer Richard Baldwin was convicted laundering £1.5m

The FCA states that between October 2007 and November 2008 Baldwin was guilty of laundering the proceeds from a “conspiracy to insider deal” – committed by his former business partner Andrew Hind and another man Martyn Dodgson – using off-shore companies, bank accounts and false invoices.

He was also convicted of contempt of court after he breached a restraint order made in 2011 preventing him of disposing of, dealing or diminishing the value of any of his assets. He admitted contempt in 2015.

According to the FCA Baldwin was tried in absentia as he absconded from justice during the proceedings and “remains at large”. An arrest warrant and a European arrest warrant have been issued previously.

Hind and Dodgson were both convicted of conspiracy to insider deal between 2006 and 2010 and convicted in 2016.

Hind, ACA, received a three-and-a-half year sentence, and Dodgson a four-and-a-half year sentence.

Baldwin helped to disguise some of the proceeds of the conspiracy by dissipating it through a number of Panamanian companies and bank accounts.

He had established a company in Panama and bank account in Zurich and in 2007 received £1.5m into the company account, providing a false invoice to his bankers.

This £1.5m was allegedly profits gained from insider dealing in Scottish & Newcastle Plc.

The FCA raided Baldwin and Hind’s business premises in 2010 and Baldwin later closed the original Panamanian company he had established, plus two others that had been used to move large amounts of the £1.5m.

The scheme was uncovered during Operation Tabernula – a complex insider dealing investigation by the FCA, in partnership with the National Crime Agency.

Following the information uncovered in Operation Tabernula, three additional convictions have also been made – Paul Milsom, Graeme Shelley and Julia Rifat.

Executive director of enforcement at the FCA, Mark Stewart, said that the authority would “not tolerate criminals who facilitate others to abuse our markets”.

“This case demonstrates our determination to pursue not only those who commit insider dealing but those who are prepared to launder the ill-gotten gains from abusing our market,” Stewart said.

“The case also sends a clear message that the FCA is determined to deprive criminals of the proceeds of crime.”

Sentencing for Baldwin is set to take place on 3 September.