Tuesday 16 January 2018

Pimp laundered cash through credit union

Single deposit of €854,000 was sent to account by his daughter


Convicted brothel keeper and money launderer Thomas Carroll cleaned up his cash by receiving €854,000 in a single deposit to his credit union account, it can now be revealed.

The single deposit was only part of millions of euro the Carlow-born criminal amassed from his prostitution empire which stretched all over the republic, Northern Ireland and the UK.

Carroll ran his empire from a vicarage in a Welsh village. He fled Ireland after being arrested and subsequently released on bail but still kept up his Irish operation, which included young and vulnerable women from Nigeria who had been trafficked into the sex trade.

Now a written judgement by Judge Neil Bidder has shown how Carroll evaded the authorities by moving cash between accounts, some held by his daughter Toma Carroll, as well as keeping large amounts of cash on hand

Last month Judge Bidder sentenced Carroll, 48, his wife Shamiela Clark and his 26-year-old daughter Toma Carroll after they admitted money laundering.

Thomas Carroll and Clark also pleaded guilty to conspiring to control prostitutes, including women trafficked into Ireland from Portugal, Venezuela, Brazil and Nigeria. Thomas Carroll was jailed for seven years, Clark for three-and-a-half years. Toma Carroll was jailed for two years but was freed immediately because of time spent in custody awaiting trial.

Thomas Carroll ran 35 brothels in the north and the Republic. For every €27,000 in total takings from his brothels, Carroll was making more than €13,000 in clear profit.

In 2005, records showed a final balance for the year of €300,000 from Carroll's Irish brothels. In 2006 a search discovered €100,000 in cash kept in a safe and between €10,000 and €15,000 kept in notes in his house.

"The money laundering scheme was complicated, it included property investments in Wales and other countries, financed with the proceeds of the prostitution business," the judge said.

Some of the prostitutes made payments to accounts controlled by Thomas Carroll by International Money Transfers and some of this money was used to buy luxury properties in Bulgaria, South Africa and Wales.

Other monies ended up in Bank of Ireland accounts in the name of Toma Carroll. These included a sum of €111,000, which passed through the account in 2006.

But by 2007 the money going into the account had increased to €1.13m and there was another €500,000 moved through the account up to the end of September 2008.

Another lodgement showed that €854,000 deposited into Thomas Carroll's credit union account had been transferred from Toma Carroll's account.

Judge Bidder described Toma Carroll as an "intelligent and capable young woman who should have been content to follow your chosen career in the law".

"It is to a great extent your father's fault that you are in the position that you are, but you are old enough, and were old enough during the course of this conspiracy, to be able to take decisions yourself and you cannot shuttle off all responsibility so easily on to your father's shoulders," the judge said.

"I simply do not believe, and indeed it has not been pressed on your behalf, what you told the probation service, namely that at no time did you share in the proceeds of the prostitution business."

South Africa's Assets Forfeiture Unit is examining the possibility of seizing three houses in Cape Town owned by Thomas Carroll or his wife -- two in the Strand area of the city and one in Gauteng. The Strand townhouses are estimated to be worth R1.2 million, or around €150,000 each.

Sunday Independent

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