Staffordshire lawyer charged with money laundering

A partner in a Staffordshire law firm has been charged with money laundering the proceeds of a multimillion-pound VAT fraud. Paul Winter Morris continues to work as a solicitor at the four-partner AH Brooks & Co.
Listings staff at Birmingham Crown Court said Morris is due to appear on 9 September at the court with the five men accused of the fraud. The men are being prosecuted by Customs & Excise, which refused to comment. Morris is not accused of fraud and will be in court only because he is linked to their case.
Morris and another defendant is accused of laundering the proceeds of the alleged fraud. According to the court's records, Morris is accused of concealing or disguising the proceeds of criminal conduct, assisting others to reclaim benefits of crime and removing proceeds of crime from a jurisdiction.
Michael Kenyon, head of regulatory fraud and investigation at Burton Copeland's Manchester office, acting for Morris, said Morris was exempted from appearing at a previous plea and directions hearing due to a prior arrangement and had been given only two days notice. He said: “Morris's case is likely to take place in the new year.”
The Law Society said Morris's practising certificate is subject to an “employment condition” banning him from being a director or shareholder of an incorporated company, imposed on 24 April 2001. Morris refused to comment.