"You are both equally capable of committing these offences."
Sandy Kaur, aged 47, and her son Aaron Sanghera, aged 26, both of Chigwell, Essex, were jailed for a total of almost seven years at the Old Bailey on Thursday, January 3, 2019, for laundering over £750,000.
It was heard they helped launder the money after it was stolen by a fraudster who had posed as a wealthy businessman.
The mother and son duo used their London company to funnel funds offshore through several different bank accounts.
Their case was part of a series of investigations since 2012 that have identified three criminal gangs throughout the UK involved in fraud, money laundering and tax evasion offences.
Four bank clerks were jailed for a total of 20 years for their role in the fraud in 2017 but the case of Kaur and Sanghera required a retrial.
It was part of a fraud in which corrupt bank employees identified dormant accounts holding large sums, then changing the contact details on the accounts and forging ID documents to match the new details.
Imposters then go to the bank with the fake documents to request transfers from the victim’s accounts while claiming it to be theirs.
The scam began in August 2013 when an imposter went to a Lloyds Bank branch in Kings Cross, central London to make a transfer of £420,000.
With the help of the four bank clerks, the transfer was made after false paperwork relating to the purchase of a house in France was presented.
The imposter also presented a fake driving licence in the name of customer Peter Weibel.
A few days later, the fraudster returned to carry out another transfer worth £330,000.
The court heard that a total of £390,709.33 was paid into an account held by AV Traders, the company run by Kaur and Sanghera.
It had previously been sent through several other accounts to try and disguise the criminal origin of the money. A total of eight payments was made over the course of five days.
Judge Anuja Dhir QC said: “I heard the way which you as a team operated and I am truly satisfied that this was a joint enterprise.
“You are both equally capable of committing these offences.
“You were trusted by those planning the fraud to launder the proceeds and you did.”
Fraud investigators have been unable to track down the funds following their transfer abroad.
The court heard that Kaur had been involved in another money laundering scheme in 2011 and had managed to scam £27,000.
The fraudulent scheme committed in 2013 was spotted by the fraud detection team at Lloyds who flagged it to the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU).
One customer with over £3 million in the bank only escaped becoming a victim after a staff member rang him up to check. All the victims have since been refunded.
Paul Cavin, prosecuting, said: “Where the funds went after that we do not know.
“Of course, it is extremely important to not fix the son with the sins of his mother unless the evidence justifies such a conclusion.
“However, we say that the evidence and the application of common sense will show that they were both in on this. A bank account controlled by her received some of the proceeds of those frauds.”
The company account holder’s name was Sanghera and he had set the account up at Metro bank. Only he could authorise transactions on the account.
Kaur was convicted in 2018 and Sanghera was convicted at a retrial. Both were sentenced together.
Judge Dhir sentenced Kaur to four years in prison. Sanghera received a sentence of two years and nine months after the judge took his diabetes into account.
Sanghera shook his head as his mother was sentenced before letting out a loud groan when his prison sentence was read out.
He had earlier told the court he would go into a coma within three hours if anything went wrong with his insulin device.
Along with Kaur, Sanghera and the four bank clerks, the gang comprised of Eddie Lakes and his associates Kushveer Raulia and Parvez Hussain.
Lakes, aged 42, of Brentford, is a notorious money launderer and was jailed for five years.
Raulia, aged 26, of London was sentenced to seven years in prison and Hussain, aged 50, of London, was jailed for six years.
Glyn Whittick, temporary chief inspector of the DCPCU, said: “This was a highly organised gang that used corrupt bank staff to target customers and then launder the stolen funds through business accounts.
“This sentencing shows that both the criminal gangs directly responsible for fraud and those who assist them will be tracked down and punished.
“In particular, this sends a strong message that setting up an account and allowing it to be used by fraudsters is a serious crime that can result in a lengthy prison sentence.”