Step sister laundered money for fraudster

PUBLISHED: 17:25 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 07 July 2010

Ian Clarke

An over-loyal woman who allowed £34,000 from her “career fraudster” step brother to be paid into her back accounts was ordered to do 100 hours' community service.

An over-loyal woman who allowed £34,000 from her “career fraudster” step brother to be paid into her back accounts was ordered to do 100 hours' community service.

Zoe Bradshaw, 27, “had high regard and loved dearly” Steve Galvin and “foolishly allowed” herself to be drawn in to his criminal activity.

Galvin, 47, a well known businessman in the Fakenham area, was last week jailed for 33 months for running businesses while a bankrupt for a third time.

At Norwich Crown Court Judge Alisdair Darroch told Bradshaw: “However you look at this, the fact remains that you made it easier for a career fraudster to swindle the public.”

He said Bradshaw - who is expecting a baby in May - should have asked Galvin more questions about what he was doing.

“It could have been down to naivety and that he is very persuasive and you have genuine affection for him.”

The judge added: “A number of people have lost money and you are partly responsible.”

Bradshaw, of Church Road, Stiffkey, near Wells, previously admitted two offences of money laundering.

The court heard that she laundered more than £24,000 which Galvin got from fees he conned a businessman out of for a “pie in the sky” £3.1m deal to fund a re-development in Birmingham.

Bradshaw also allowed £10,000 to be paid in to her account which Galvin had made from Fakenham pre-payment firm My Capital Credit Ltd and camping accessory business MPG Leisure, which were both trading fraudulently.

The judge heard that Bradshaw had been through a lot of problems in her life, including the death of her father Allen last week.

Judge Darroch said Bradshaw had learned her lesson and there was hope for her for the future.

Michael Clare, mitigating, said Galvin had been very persuasive and Bradshaw's involvement and her benefit had been “minimal.”

He said she had “high regard for him and loved him dearly.”

“It is why he is a career fraudster and she has fallen for it. She has been silly enough to let herself get involved.”

Mr Clare said Galvin owed Bradshaw thousands of pounds as he had duped her.

“She has learned a salutary lesson and she is struggling hard to sort out the financial mess her step brother has left her in.”

Stephen Dyble, prosecuting, said Bradshaw assisted her step brother in carrying out his frauds by allowing her bank accounts to be used and launder the proceeds of his dishonesty.

He said she had made no comment when she was arrested.

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