Red Lodge: Family must pay �2m for money laundering

FOUR members of a family accused of money laundering following a raid at a Suffolk scrapyard have been ordered to pay back more than �2million.

The settlement is the largest ever Proceeds of Crime confiscation order for Suffolk Constabulary and follows a massive police investigation at the Ponderosa scrapyard at Bridge End Road, Red Lodge, in 2008.

The two-acre site, which included a scrapyard, house and outbuildings, took two days to search and resulted in �735,000, which included �475,000 cash hidden behind a bath, items of plant, and several stolen vehicles being seized.

Following the investigation, which involved dozens of Suffolk police officers as well as other agencies including HM Customs and Revenue, Trading Standards, the DVLA, the UK Border Agency and the Department of Work and Pensions, charges were brought against Robert McGivern, 41, his mother Bernadette McGivern, 71, her 79-year-old partner Noel Healy and McGivern’s father Harold McGivern, 68, all of Bridge End Road, Red Lodge.

Robert McGivern was convicted at Ipswich Crown Court in 2009 of money laundering, fraud and handling stolen goods and was jailed for five and a half years.

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In September last year a confiscation hearing ordered him to pay back criminal assets of �851,000.

In November 2009 Bernadette and Harold McGivern and Healy all admitted money laundering and were given suspended prison sentences.

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Yesterday they returned to Ipswich Crown Court for a confiscation hearing during which Bernadette McGivern was ordered to repay �705,825, Healy was ordered to repay �375,900 and Harold McGivern was ordered to repay �118,273 making a total of �1.2m.

This, together with the order made against Robert McGivern, made a total of �2.051m for the whole operation. Suffolk Constabulary will receive some of the money to re-invest in similar investigations in the future.

After yesterday’s hearing Det Supt Chris Mayhew said: “Bernadette McGivern, Harold McGivern and Noel Healy have cheated the tax system in respect of properties in London and benefited from this in here in Suffolk.”

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