A MAN of Vanuatu descent has been jailed for seven years for money laundering by the High Court in Suva.Between August 6 and 24 in 2009, Johnny Albert Stephen, 42, received $17,420.90 and disposed of it knowing or should have known that it was derived from illegal activities.On September 25, 2009, Stephen again received $21,440.56 through the same means.
The court heard that in early 2010, the father of six came in contact with a man named David Turner (DT), who he had never met and only contacted him by email and phone.
Judge Justice Paul Madigan said Stephen acceded to the suggestion of business and agreed to have his bank account made available to DT for those purposes.
The court heard that DT was to remit US$15million to Stephen, which was to be invested for DT.
“These funds were locked in the Bank of America in the US and could only be unfrozen and remitted to the accused on the payment of taxes to the bank,” Justice Madigan said.
“The money to pay these taxes would be credited to the accused’s account by DT and they were then to be sent on to a named lady in Washington State, US who DT said worked for the Bank of America and she would use the money to settle the outstanding taxes.
“Stephen received two amounts of $6210 into his account in August 2009 which he sent on to the lady as instructed.
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