Money launderer told by judge to ‘grow up’

PUBLISHED: 16:49 17 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:49 17 November 2015

PA Wire/Press Association Images

John Paul O’Donovan was convicted of 12 offences of money laundering following a prosecution brought by the council’s trading standards team

A Bromley man found guilty of money laundering has been told to “grow up.”

John Paul O’Donovan was convicted of 12 offences of money laundering following a prosecution brought by the council’s trading standards team.

On November 4, he was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and must take part in the accredited Thinking Skills Programme which encourages better life choices.

He was also ordered to pay £3,300 in compensation to the victims.

The investigation was triggered following a call to Bromley trading standards rapid response team from a Bickley resident who was concerned that costs of building work to his home were escalating.

The resident had been cold called by a builder and agreed to minor repairs, but additional repairs were identified pushing the costs to £27,000.

A subsequent survey found the repairs unnecessary and fraudulent, as the scam claimed two other victims, collectively pauing £132,000 into O’Donovan’s account.

On sentencing, the judge told O’Donovan he needed to grow up and that he was stupid if he did not think he had been involved in a scam when asked to accept such a large sum of money into his account.

He added that he was not surprised the jury rejected his defence.

Executive member for public protection and safety, Cllr Kate Lymer, said: “This is an excellent example of the impact the trading standards team is having in our borough.

“By ringing the rapid response number, the Bickley resident set in motion an investigation which identified two further vulnerable consumers who were victims of this building scam.

“The outcome shows our robust enforcement against those who facilitate the financial transactions of criminal conduct is justified and appropriate.

“People like this man make it easy for fraudsters to commit their crimes and if it wasn’t for the likes of him there would be fewer opportunities for these criminals to defraud unsuspecting residents.”

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