November 2011 – Saunders secures acquittal in $15 million money laundering case
A team headed by Saunders directors Gary Bromelow and Karen Sturman secured the acquittal of W on 21st October 2011 on all charges after an eight week trial at Winchester Crown Court.
An investigation by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) dating back to 2003 ended with a series of lengthy trials involving multiple defendants. SOCA instructed a Leading QC and Junior Counsel through a specialist Crown Prosecution Service department.
Director, Gary Bromelow, led the Saunders office based team of 4 solicitors, with co-director and Higher Rights Advocate Karen Sturman in Court throughout as part of the advocacy team. Karen Sturman shared the advocacy with Richard Furlong of 25 Bedford Row Chambers who writes a leading legal textbook on money laundering.
The allegation was that W had received proceeds from a $15 million theft by a corrupt employee inside Commerzbank in Germany. SOCA used its immense resources to follow the trail taken by the money spanning several continents. They sought to bring in evidence of bugged conversations, gathered with covert probes, and to have the jury know of other unrelated allegations they made against W to show he had a propensity for crime. In addition, fragmented business records and documents obtained from outside the jurisdiction were relied on to support their case.
The defence team were successful in having evidence of previous alleged wrongdoing excluded, and significantly curtailed the use of the harvested covert surveillance evidence. Together with other tactical decisions made throughout the case, our work resulted in the acquittal of W.