Suffolk: Woman denies any knowledge of company’s ‘scam’

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk woman who worked for a businessman who has admitted organising international escort agency and debt elimination scams – which allegedly swindled victims out of more than £5million – has told a court she had no knowledge of any fraudulent activity.

Giving evidence during her trial at Ipswich Crown Court, Geraldine French, who was employed as an administrator by Tony Muldoon and was involved in setting up bank accounts for him in the UK, said she would have left her job if she had thought anything was amiss.

“I have left two companies in the past because of them being fraudulent. When you are in accountancy you cannot afford to be involved in dodgy dealings,” she said.

French, 60, of Lowestoft, has denied conspiracy to defraud and money-laundering offences. Also before the court are Mark Bell, 41, of Westerfield Road, Ipswich; Colin Samuels, 61, of The Street, Redgrave near Diss; Christopher Taylor, 57, of Wakefield; and Bradley Rogers, 29, of Malaga.

Bell has denied a money-laundering charge involving £1.9m and two charges of conspiracy to defraud. Samuels has denied a money-laundering charge involving £302,375 and two offences of conspiracy to defraud.

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Taylor and Rogers have denied conspiracy to defraud and money-laundering charges.

It has been alleged that victims in the UK were fleeced by call centres based in Spain and Turkey, although they believed they were dealing with businesses in Britain.

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Prosecutor Nic Lobbenberg told the court the frauds were organised by a man called Tony Muldoon, who lives in Spain, who has pleaded guilty to two offences of conspiracy to defraud.

French told the court that she had been paid a wage by Muldoon and had not received any personal advantage by moving money on his instructions.

She said she did not know that money she was transferring for him was criminal property. The trial continues.

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