Jail avoided for Money Laundering, Participate in Criminal Group

Daniel Shestowsky appeared on behalf of a client, based in Blacktown, who pleaded guilty to Participating in a Criminal Group, Recklessly Dealing with Proceeds of Crime totalling $400,000 and Assaulting Police.

Sophisticated Criminal Group involved in Fraud

Our client came to the attention of Police through a large-scale investigation of a Criminal Group based both locally and overseas. The group specialised in a variety of online scams, in particular romance scams and fraudulent invoices. Elements of the group started online conversations and preyed on vulnerable victims, convincing them to transfer large amounts of money to specific bank accounts. The investigation uncovered the total amount defrauded to be over $6 million.

Participate in Criminal Group and Money Laundering

While our client was not implicated in conducting the scams, our client’s bank details were used for the fraudulent funds to be transferred into. She was then directed by members of the criminal group to withdraw those funds and use them to purchase gold bars. Those gold bars would ultimately be sent overseas. The investigation conducted by Police uncovered our client’s involvement, ultimately amounting to the transfer and withdrawal of over $200,000, with those funds being used to purchase the gold bars that were sent overseas.

Assault Police in Sydney CBD

Our client was also involved in an unrelated incident with NSW Police. Whilst out in the Sydney CBD with friends, our client was present near the scene of a large brawl which Police attended. Our client was not involved in the brawl, however a friend of our client was questioned by Police and ultimately taken to a Police van near the scene. Our client, knowing her friend was not involved, attempted to interfere with Police in the execution of their duty. Ultimately, she was told to move away and in the process of being moved on, she kicked out at a Police officer and was charged with Assaulting a Police Officer as well as Resisting Arrest.  

Sentencing at Penrith Local Court

Our client was originally charged with five offences as a result of the police investigation into the fraud and money laundering syndicate. Our client was also charged with two offences stemming from the incident in the Sydney CBD. Having engaged Australian Lawyers and Advocates to seek legal advice and representation, Daniel Shestowsky carefully analysed the substantial brief of evidence in order to assess our client’s case.

Given the strength of the prosecution case and our client’s own admissions, she entered pleas of guilty to the charges before the Court. However, Mr Shestowsky found that our client had been excessively charged and successfully negotiated with the prosecution to have our client plead guilty to two charges in relation to the fraud and money laundering syndicate with three being withdrawn and dismissed. Mr Shestowsky found the same in relation to the incident in the Sydney CBD and our client ultimately pled guilty to one charge of Assault Police with a charge of Resist Arrest withdrawn and dismissed.

Our client ultimately pleaded guilty to one charge of Recklessly deal with Proceeds of Crime, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, one charge of Participate in Criminal Group, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment., and one charge of Assault Police Officer in Execution of Duty, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment. Given the seriousness of all of the charges before the court, our client was at significant risk of receiving a penalty of full time imprisonment.

Mr Shestowsky prepared a thorough case for our client’s sentencing proceeding, emphasising her role in the organisation, the overt nature of her offending and her personal circumstances generally. Ultimately, with the help of Mr Shestowsky’s cogent and persuasive advocacy, our client received an Intensive Corrections Order for a period of 2 years, allowing her to remain in the community while she received required rehabilitation for her underlying issues.

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