Man Jailed On Money Laundering Charges

June 25, 2010

A 58 year old Pembroke resident who admitted two counts of money laundering involving tens of thousands of dollars has been jailed. Cordell Simmons pled guilty in Magistrates’ Court yesterday [June 24] to wiring nearly $80,000 to accounts in Jamaica and the U.S. Mr Simons, who currently lives at the Salvation Army Harbourlight Facility, claimed he used the money he received for making the transfers to support his drug habit. He is said to have made dozens of transfers for amounts of up to $3,000 at a time through Western Union and MoneyGram between June 2008 and November 2009.

Mr Simmons is the third person to come before the courts in Bermuda for money laundering, and he is the first to be sentenced at Magistrate’ Court as the previous two cases were dealt with in the Supreme Court. Mr. Simmons faced up to five years, however was jailed for two years by Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner.

Detective Sergeant Grant Tomkins from the Financial Crime Unit said the case should send out a strong message to anyone involved in money laundering saying:

This is one of the ways that the drug dealers and other criminals try to get the proceeds of crime out of Bermuda. We are doing everything we can to stop this from going on in Bermuda and this conviction demonstrates that the Bermuda Police Service remains committed to tackling crime and in particular drug crime from various angles.

This case should be a warning to people being used by drug dealers to get money off the island. They may think they will never get caught but this case shows that is not correct. They are taking a huge risk by involving themselves in these kinds of enterprises.

I would ask anyone who is approached to transfer money on behalf of other people to think twice and call the Police on 295-0011 or Crime Stoppers Bermuda on 800-8477 to report their suspicions. Money laundering is a serious offence and as you can see is treated as such by our courts. This conviction is the result of hard work from the officer in the case and a number of officers in the unit.

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