Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx man lied about being in China to launder £265k

Fingers on a laptop keyboard Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police said the money had been stolen from the French firm online

A Manx man who faked being overseas in order to launder over £265,000 stolen from a French company has been jailed.

Elton Sheldon, of Onchan, used four bank accounts to launder the money, which was taken from the firm in an online attack, Isle of Man Police said.

Officers found the 59-year-old had lied to his bank, telling them he was in China negotiating contracts to get a commission payment released.

He was sentenced to three years and two months in prison at Douglas courthouse.

Sheldon opened the accounts in October 2015, claiming to be self-employed and doing work for a property management and development company, a police spokesman said.

Three months later, he emailed the bank stating he was in China negotiating contracts for a French firm and was expecting a commission payment.

The same day, the money was transferred into one of his accounts.

'Protracted investigation'

However, he was then challenged by bank staff when he attempted to transfer about £200,000 of the funds from the Isle of Man to China, which led him to produce a forged agreement outlining a business relationship with the company.

The force spokesman said an investigation revealed Sheldon did not work for the company and the money had been stolen using an online attack on its bank account.

He was convicted of four counts of money laundering and one count of demanding property on forged documents.

Det Con Claire Kemp said it had been a "detailed and protracted investigation involving multiple jurisdictions over two and a half years".

She added that the force would not "tolerate the Isle of Man being used as a vehicle to launder money and, as such, treats offences of this nature extremely seriously".

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