Rugby woman jailed for money laundering

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Two people, including a woman from Rugby, have been jailed for money laundering offences.

Michael Hurt was sentenced to four years three months after he pleaded guilty to money laundering and possession of drugs when he appeared before Warwick Crown Court on Friday.

Hurt, 48, of Acacia Road, Nuneaton had previously pleaded guilty to concealing more than £58,000 of criminal property and to converting £35,000 of criminal property.

The money had been laundered on behalf of drugs dealers in exchange for Hurt’s heroin habit being financed and he was allowed to keep the increase in the value of a property partially purchased with the criminal property.

Hurt had also previously pleased guilty to the possession of cocaine and cannabis and was further sentenced to serve eight months for the drugs offences, to run concurrently with his sentence of four years three months.

In addition Nicola Birch, 42 years, of Murray Road, Rugby was sentenced to 21 months for money laundering offences, handling stolen goods and possession of drugs.

She had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to concealing property valued at £23,800 and to converting £13,000 of criminal property. She had also pleaded guilty to possession of heroin. For these offences she was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment.

The above sentences followed a complex and protracted, challenging investigation involving a number of police officers and police staff from the Serious and organised Crime Unit.

On a separate charge, investigated by officers at Rugby police station, Birch had pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing criminal property and handling stolen goods, namely a television from a Blackpool hotel.

The property subject to the money laundering charge included £2,590 in cash, a belt and a pair of Ugg boots.

Birch was sentenced to six months for these charges, to run consecutively with the 15 month sentence (totalling 21 months).