Tayside and Central Scotland

Crooked lawyer ordered to hand back 'dirty' money

Michael Voudouri and Richard Housley Image copyright BBC/Spindrift
Image caption Housley, right, set up bank accounts for Voudouri, left, in Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland

A crooked solicitor who helped multi-million-pound fraudster Michael Voudouri launder money has been ordered to hand over more than £90,000 to the Crown.

Richard Housley, 61, was paid £1,399,329 for "hiding" £1.8m for Voudouri.

He was told to pay back £97,378 following a proceeds of crime hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Housley was jailed for four years in March 2013 for his part in the scam.

Voudouri, of Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, is one of Scotland's most notorious fraudsters.

He was jailed for 11-and-a-half years in June 2014 for conning the taxman out of £11.6m.

The businessman went on the run after pleading guilty to fraud charges at the High Court in Glasgow in October 2012.

He was later returned to Scotland after being arrested in Northern Cyprus.

Bank accounts

Voudouri had spent three years dodging VAT payments from his computer component company Q-Tech Distribution.

Housley's role involved moving money around bank accounts in Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Housley, who worked for Gebals Solicitors in Bathgate, West Lothian, first got to know Voudouri in 2002.

The solicitor was later invited to become involved in a business used as a front by Voudouri to hide money from the authorities.

His home was raided by tax inspectors in 2007 and he was brought to stand trail alongside book-keeper Caroline Laing, of Denny, Stirlingshire,.

She was jailed for two-and-a-half years for allowing her personal bank account to be used in the money laundering.

On Friday, Lord Bannatyne ruled that Housley had to pay £97,378 to prosecutors within 12 months.

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