Haldanes client acquitted of Money Laundering in District Court with full costs awarded
On 31st May 2017, His Honour Judge Gary Lam acquitted a Defendant charged with money laundering under Section 25 of Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455) with full costs awarded. The case was of particular interest because it was alleged, unusually, that the Defendant had been the CEO of the company alleged to have committed the predicate offences. The predicate offences were the company had operated a pyramid selling business, contrary to the new Pyramid Schemes Prohibition Ordinance (Cap. 617). Additionally, there had been misrepresentation that the company was planning an IPO when in fact it was not.
The Reasons for Verdict examined the test applicable in a case of this nature to be applied to the Defendant who was alleged to have dealt with the proceeds of crime. The Judge commented that it was unusual for the person to be charged with money laundering when it was also alleged that he had been responsible for the conduct alleged to be the predicate offence.