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Man Convicted of Money Laundering to Support Drug Habit

The use of drugs or an addiction is seldom the only problem plaguing the user. It is common for a drug addict to need to commit other crimes in order to support a habit. For one individual featured in a Royal Gazette article, his crimes included money laundering.

Cordell Simmons has admitted in Magistrates’ Court to two counts of money laundering, which included $80,000. Simmons made dozens of wire transfers to various countries on behalf of at least three unnamed drug dealers and traffickers, using the money from the transfers to feed his habit.

Between July 15, 2008 and November 30, 2009, Simmons laundered $63,073 to assist drug traffickers who were trying to avoid prosecution. The money was laundered through 56 wire transfers through a number of local money transfer agencies. The money involved was allegedly sent to Jamaica and Europe.

A second sum of roughly $20,000 was laundered between June 20, 2008 and August 18, 2009, which included 16 wire transfers to Jamaica, New York, Pennsylvania and the Philippines. Simmons used local agencies to complete his transfers.

Simmons confessed to the transfers of money, but would not name the three or four persons for which he was transferring the money. He also claimed to have struggled with an addiction for a long time.

The Proceeds of Crime Act 1997 dictates that Simmons can face a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of $50,000. The judge can take into account his guilty plea, the praise from his addiction counselor and his efforts to change his life. In doing so, Simmons received a two-year sentence for each money laundering count, which will run concurrently.

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