HMRC cracks down on unlawful estate agents
Another 68 estate agents have been added to the list of named businesses not complying with money laundering regulations.
HMRC has fined dozens of estate agents more than £500,000 for breaching anti-money laundering requirements.
It named the 68 estate agents who have been fined a total of £519,645 for not complying with rules designed to stop criminals from laundering money from illegal activity.
The fines followed the first prosecution of an estate agent for trading despite not being registered with HMRC, to ensure compliance with money laundering regulations.
Felix Uwuigbe, director of Century House Estates Ltd in London, was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid community service and banned from acting as an estate agent for two years after he was convicted of trading for three months while unregistered.
Nick Sharp, HMRC’s deputy director of economic crime, said money laundering is not a victimless crime.
“Our regulations are there to protect businesses from those criminals who would prey on their services to wash their dirty money,” he said.
“Serious and organised crime costs the UK billions of pounds every year and our anti-money laundering supervision is a vital tool in combatting that.”
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