Man jailed after buying property from Brierfield fraudster

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Scales

A MAN who used criminal proceeds to buy a property from a convicted fraudster been sentenced to two years imprisonment

Nevzat Kocabey (50), of Lemon Grove, Liverpool, was found guilty of two counts of transferring criminal property after a four day trial at Burnley Crown Court in July. He was given a four year sentence in total, consisting of two years per offence to run concurrently.

The sentencing comes at the end of a three year investigation – codenamed Operation Hera II – by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (TITAN). It follows the conviction of 52-year-old Mohammed Khatana, of Hawks House Gardens, Brierfield, who previously pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud in September 2012.

The court heard how Kocabey used the proceeds of his crime to buy two properties – one belonging to Khatana on Hawkswood Gardens, Brierfield and a separate house, which was not connected to Khatana, in Lemon Grove, Liverpool.

In August 2007, he instructed Liverpool solicitor Andrew Tidd (52), of Hatfield Gardens, Warrington, in the purchase of the £105,000 Brierfield house, which was the subject of an on-going investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In October 2007, he further instructed Tidd in the purchase of the £72,500 house in Lemon Grove, Liverpool. Police enquiries revealed he had used using money amassed through crime to pay the deposits on the properties amounting to over £26,000.

Tidd subsequently pleaded guilty to a number of regulatory offences of failing to report suspicions of money laundering and received a four-month prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months after appearing at Burnley Court in August 2012.

A further investigation into his finances will be carried out under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). A POCA hearing has been set for April 4th 2014 at Burnley Crown Court.

Det. Chief Insp. Paula Parker, head of the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team said: “I am happy with the sentence handed down to Kocabey after such a long and complex investigation.

“I hope that this sends a clear message to criminals and those who live off their illegally gained assets that we will find them, put them before the courts, and we will also work with the courts to seize back the money made from their criminality.”