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Bureau de change money laundering trial - woman cleared but husband faces retrial

TRIAL: The Holborn Money Exchange store in London

A WOMAN has been cleared of money laundering in connection with the family bureau de change business, while her husband faces a retrial.

Alison Green, 55, was cleared of one count of acquiring criminal property by a jury with a majority verdict of ten after several hours of deliberation at Blackfriars Crown Court.

She had pleaded not guilty to the offence after the Met Police found cash made up of 420,170 euros and $10,000, worth a combined around £383,000, in their home on September 14 2014.

The prosecution alleged she must have known the cash was the proceeds of criminal activity.

Her husband, Terence Green, 59, was charged with the same offence and another charge of being concerned in a money laundering arrangement with other persons unknown, in connection with 45,000 euros (£40,345) found in his car during a search in London on September 10 2014.

The court heard the Met Police then carried out a search of the family home at Bush Hall Farm in Threshers Bush, Harlow, Essex, on the same day.

It was there that the further monies were found with a cash counting machine next to the bed.

The prosecution had no evidence about who they were allegedly laundering cash for, but said the lack of explanation for its origin meant it was illegal activity.

JUDGE: Recorder Peter Herbert

Recorder Peter Herbert said: "The defendant says the money has a legitimate source, but the crown says it is an awful lot of money - money exchange bureau or not - it is not explained no matter how legitimate the business was, and the crown argues it was a cover."

The family ran the Holborn Money Exchange in Kingsway, Holborn, central London, which was registered with HMRC and found to be compliant during checks.

The Greens said the cash in the car was being taken to a daughter in connection with the money exchange business, which also operated in Spain.

They said the family had sold a flat in Canary Wharf in London's docklands for 980,000 euros (£878,677) and other properties in Dubai - which explained the origin of the cash at home.

JURY: The case was considered at Blackfriars Crown Court

Recorder Herbert added: "There is no evidence the sale of flats in Dubai or Canary Wharf was anything other than legitimate.

"What people do with the cash is up to them, but the crown says this does not explain the large amount of euros found in the premises.

"The prosecution says why take such a large amount of euros home when you have got two safety deposit boxes."

Mrs Green was found not guilty by the jury, which failed to reach a decision in relation to Mr Green's two charges, so the case against him collapsed.

The prosecution said the crown would be seeking a retrial of Mr Green.

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