Underpants cash pensioner faces more jail time

Property salesman caught with �60,000 stashed in his briefs will get extended sentence if he doesn’t repay �380,000

A 69 year old Barnstaple man jailed for money laundering after trying to smuggle �60,000 out of the UK in his underpants has been ordered to pay back �380,000 or face a further four years behind bars.

At a confiscation hearing at Canterbury Crown Court, John Anthony Maurice, a semi-retired property salesman, was ordered to pay the money by September 1, after the court heard he had hidden assets totalling �380,000.

In March 2010 Maurice pleaded guilty to almost �4 million in money laundering offences. HM Revenue and Customs began an investigation after he was stopped as he waited to board a ferry from Dover to France.

When challenged, he produced 63,000 Euros and �2,600 sterling from his underpants.

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He was sentenced to four years imprisonment, on three separate counts to run concurrently, of which he will serve half in jail. Now he faces more time if he cannot produce the amount required.

Upon granting the confiscation order, Her Honour Judge Adele Williams called Maurice an “intelligent, sophisticated and practised liar.”

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Speaking following the hearing, Robert Alder, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC said: “Confiscation proceedings show that our work doesn’t stop once someone is convicted and we then start proceedings to reclaim the profits of their crime.

“If Maurice doesn’t pay back the �380,000 he’s been ordered to he will have to serve a further four years in jail and will still owe the money.”

When caught with the money in June 2008, after being picked out by a Custom’s detector dog, Maurice had claimed he was exchanging money on behalf of clients who wished to purchase furniture for their Spanish properties.

Throughout the enquiry he had refused to disclose the identities of any of his clients.

Mr Alder added: “If you have information relating to this type of crime, or the whereabouts of Maurice’s assets, please call our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000 or email customs.hotline@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk and help us stamp it out.”

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