AMLS

Money laundering offences?

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I am taking on a small batch of clients. At the moment I cannot access the because they are on the OPs ASA. My AMLS is about to come through but in the meantime I have returns to file. I think there may be AMLS offences he is committing. He has signed off client's returns in someone else's name who isn't anything to do with the practice. He employs freelances who don't have AMLS licences. There may be a breach of the bounce back loan regulations. What should I do?

Replies (34)

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By Wanderer
21st Oct 2023 08:55

Kosher wrote:

My AMLS is about to come through but in the meantime I have returns to file.

Should you even be doing the work without your own AML registration being in place?
Thanks (4)
Replying to Wanderer:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 09:11

Wanderer wrote:

Kosher wrote:

My AMLS is about to come through but in the meantime I have returns to file.

Should you even be doing the work without your own AML registration being in place?

The rules says I can, but I have done very little work and the work isn't finished - no accounts done, no tax returns done, no bill so no earnings. The previous accountant is blocking the clients in his ASA.
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Replying to Kosher:
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By Leywood
21st Oct 2023 09:33

How have you got your agent account set up without having your AML registration?

Where are the rules that say you can?

How on earth can he ‘block’ clients?

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 10:20

Leywood wrote:

How have you got your agent account set up without having your AML registration?

Where are the rules that say you can?

How on earth can he ‘block’ clients?

AMLS registration not through yet so I have no agent's account yet. I have said I have done very little so far - gone through bank records and invoices on 2 jobs. With the blockage on client's tax I am not prepared to go further until AMLS is through and I can be certain there is no block on clients.
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Replying to Leywood:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 10:27

Leywood wrote:

How have you got your agent account set up without having your AML registration?

Where are the rules that say you can?

How on earth can he ‘block’ clients?

This is the message I have got on my application - Registration status
Application pending.
Registration number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
You can trade and carry out business activities while your application is pending.
Thanks (1)
Replying to Kosher:
David Winch
By David Winch
24th Oct 2023 16:56

Kosher wrote:

- Registration status
Application pending.
Registration number XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
You can trade and carry out business activities while your application is pending.

Reg 56(5)(b) MLR 2017 refers.

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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 09:14

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

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Replying to Kosher:
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By bernard michael
21st Oct 2023 10:06

Kosher wrote:

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

Why not ask the client what he put on the application forms and then when you get some obfuscation SACK him ..............or just sack him anyway as he'll be trouble

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Replying to Kosher:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 10:15

Kosher wrote:

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

I can now confirm that bounce back loans were £200,000 and total turnover was £16,530 and maximum loan should have been £4,132
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Replying to Kosher:
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By Leywood
21st Oct 2023 10:21

Kosher wrote:

Kosher wrote:

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

I can now confirm that bounce back loans were £200,000 and total turnover was £16,530 and maximum loan should have been £4,132

You keep changing your story. That’s 3 options you’ve given now.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 10:32

Leywood wrote:

Kosher wrote:

Kosher wrote:

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

I can now confirm that bounce back loans were £200,000 and total turnover was £16,530 and maximum loan should have been £4,132

You keep changing your story. That’s 3 options you’ve given now.

First figures were guesses and these figures are fact. I am now not sure if 1) it is a fraud? 2) where I should report my findings to? So it was 2 options given, the first one a guess and the second one the facts.
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Replying to Kosher:
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By towat
24th Oct 2023 10:57

Kosher wrote:

Leywood wrote:

Kosher wrote:

Kosher wrote:

I have proof of at least £250.000 bounce back loans based on total turnover of £85,000. In my opinion was only entitled to £21,250.

I can now confirm that bounce back loans were £200,000 and total turnover was £16,530 and maximum loan should have been £4,132

You keep changing your story. That’s 3 options you’ve given now.

First figures were guesses and these figures are fact. I am now not sure if 1) it is a fraud? 2) where I should report my findings to? So it was 2 options given, the first one a guess and the second one the facts.

Either way ditch the client, you can't blame previous accountant he might have sacked client for same reason.

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By Matrix
21st Oct 2023 11:37

If a business is still going 3 years after a £200k BBL then that’s good I would have thought. I would check any overdrawn DLA was dealt with correctly.

Make a note of the suspicions so you can report once your AML comes through, if required, but I am not sure if the accountant or their freelancers or their clients are causing your suspicions.

Anyway there is loads of low risk work out there if you change your mind on these ones ;)

Thanks (1)
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By lesley.barnes
21st Oct 2023 11:40

You've lost me - are you talking about the previous accountant or a client? You need to be clear what your question is.

"He has signed off client's returns in someone else's name who isn't anything to do with the practice. He employs freelances who don't have AMLS licences. There may be a breach of the bounce back loan regulations. What should I do?"

Have you written to the previous accountant for a handover of the client, have they replied? I don't know how the previous accountant can "block" a client in his ASA. The previous accountant may not be replying because the client has unpaid invoices. You are making a lot of assumptions of the previous accountants wrong doing.

If you believe that your client (is he your client?) has committed BBL fraud then you do need to report it. What you've said certainly supports this how have they got £200k? Have they taken out multiple BBL are you sure these are all BBL, have you spoken to the client and seen the loan paperwork? I would also disengage from this client if you have engaged him in the first place because he sound like trouble.

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Replying to lesley.barnes:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 12:19

lesley.barnes wrote:

You've lost me - are you talking about the previous accountant or a client? You need to be clear what your question is.

"He has signed off client's returns in someone else's name who isn't anything to do with the practice. He employs freelances who don't have AMLS licences. There may be a breach of the bounce back loan regulations. What should I do?"

Have you written to the previous accountant for a handover of the client, have they replied? I don't know how the previous accountant can "block" a client in his ASA. The previous accountant may not be replying because the client has unpaid invoices. You are making a lot of assumptions of the previous accountants wrong doing.

If you believe that your client (is he your client?) has committed BBL fraud then you do need to report it. What you've said certainly supports this how have they got £200k? Have they taken out multiple BBL are you sure these are all BBL, have you spoken to the client and seen the loan paperwork? I would also disengage from this client if you have engaged him in the first place because he sound like trouble.

I am talking about previous accountant who is the one who has taken on the BBLs of £50,000 per company.
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Replying to Kosher:
Danny Kent
By Viciuno
23rd Oct 2023 14:47

Are you suggesting the accountant asked client to take out BBL, and then transfer them the money? Or you think the accountant has taken on a CBILS loan of £200k but you are buying his fee bank and it's c£16.5k?

If you are talking about the latter, just move on. You don't have all the facts (could well have sold other blocks or clients moved on), and never will. Just wasting your time and energy.

Just an FYI, the accountant doesn't "take on BBLs" for clients, or apply for the, or provide any supporting documents. The client will have walked into a bank, asked for the money, lied on their application and bank will have paid out with 0 checks. Nothing to do with previous accountant.

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By Roland195
21st Oct 2023 13:01

I am afraid I am at a loss to understand what you mean to say here but I certainly wouldn't be rushing to report anyone until you have ordered your mind as to who may be doing what - How on earth would you know what Bounce Back Loan the previous accountant got?

Do you mean to say you have bought over an existing practice?

Thanks (1)
Replying to Roland195:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 14:43

Roland195 wrote:

I am afraid I am at a loss to understand what you mean to say here but I certainly wouldn't be rushing to report anyone until you have ordered your mind as to who may be doing what - How on earth would you know what Bounce Back Loan the previous accountant got?

Do you mean to say you have bought over an existing practice?

I was an employee and I investigated. No not taken over the practice, only about 22 clients.
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Replying to Kosher:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
21st Oct 2023 16:47

Err :'I am taking on a small batch of clients...'
What is that if no acquiring/taking on/buying/finding/being gifted etc etc etc clients?
In accounts as in life, clarity is all.

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David Winch
By David Winch
21st Oct 2023 19:12

Hi, can you clarify.
Just dealing with the BBLs:-
Are you saying that four clients of the previous accountant took out BBLs of £50,000 each when their turnover was less than £200,000 in each case? And are you saying that the previous accountant helped his clients to make the loan applications?
If that is what you are saying you need to go on from that to consider:-
(1) when each of these clients commenced to trade, and
(2) for those clients who commenced to trade before 1 January 2019 what was the business turnover for the 12 months to 31 December 2019, or
(3) for those clients who commenced to trade on or after 1 January 2019 what was the actual business turnover for the first 12 months of trading, or what was the estimated turnover for the first 12 months of trading when the BBL application was made,
(4) was the correct figure turnover figure put on the BBL application,
(5) if the correct figure was not put on the BBL application do you suspect this was as a result of a deliberate intention to mislead the lender,
(6) if you suspect there was a deliberate intention to mislead the lender was that the intention of the client, the accountant or both?

Thanks (2)
Replying to davidwinch:
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By Kosher
21st Oct 2023 19:34

[quote=davidwinch]

Hi, can you clarify.
Just dealing with the BBLs:-
Are you saying that four clients of the previous accountant took out BBLs of £50,000 each when their turnover was less than £200,000 in each case? And are you saying that the previous accountant helped his clients to make the loan applications?
If that is what you are saying you need to go on from that to consider:-
(1) when each of these clients commenced to trade, and
(2) for those clients who commenced to trade before 1 January 2019 what was the business turnover for the 12 months to 31 December 2019, or
(3) for those clients who commenced to trade on or after 1 January 2019 what was the actual business turnover for the first 12 months of trading, or what was the estimated turnover for the first 12 months of trading when the BBL application was made,
(4) was the correct figure turnover figure put on the BBL application,
(5) if the correct figure was not put on the BBL application do you suspect this was as a result of a deliberate intention to mislead the lender,
(6) if you suspect there was a deliberate intention to mislead the lender was that the intention of the client, the accountant or both?

[/quote No the accountant took out the maximum BBLs for his own 4 companies.He also helped clients with their applications. The turnover figures, as you can see by the total turnover figures for all companies added together, was way off the market in the earlier year and the current year. I will send you a pm about the other situations.

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Replying to Kosher:
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By Tom+Cross
23rd Oct 2023 14:24

Why would "the accountant" share with you, a third party, that he had applied for bounce back loans, for his 4 businesses?
From what I can see, your evidence is fragile, to say the least and before you go off on a tangent, to file a suspicious activity report or, indeed any other form of accusation, you need to ensure that your theories are water tight. Are they?

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Replying to Tom+Cross:
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By Leywood
23rd Oct 2023 14:38

I had a DM from the OP, presumably everyone who responded got one, so watch out for yours.

There is more to this story, if only the OP had laid his stall out properly in the first instance he might’ve received some alternative responses.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Tom+Cross:
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By Kosher
23rd Oct 2023 22:03

Tom+Cross wrote:

Why would "the accountant" share with you, a third party, that he had applied for bounce back loans, for his 4 businesses?
From what I can see, your evidence is fragile, to say the least and before you go off on a tangent, to file a suspicious activity report or, indeed any other form of accusation, you need to ensure that your theories are water tight. Are they?

I was the one who submitted all the Corporation tax returns for all his companies and the client companies. As an employee I did not have an AMLS licence. He has now set on another qualified accountant in a freelance position to file themfor him.
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Replying to Tom+Cross:
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By Kosher
24th Oct 2023 08:06

Tom+Cross wrote:

Why would "the accountant" share with you, a third party, that he had applied for bounce back loans, for his 4 businesses?
From what I can see, your evidence is fragile, to say the least and before you go off on a tangent, to file a suspicious activity report or, indeed any other form of accusation, you need to ensure that your theories are water tight. Are they?

Simple answer is yes because I have copies of all the accounts.
Thanks (1)
Replying to davidwinch:
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By Kosher
23rd Oct 2023 22:13

I've worked for him for 14 years as an employee. I've not been paid my wages from March 2023 to August 2023 and he has given me clients in lieu of wages, he was having severe cash flow problems. When I started working for him I had several of my own clients and these were put in his ASA when AMLS came in, he paid me a small sum to cover these clients; I continued to work on these clients and was paid wages for these and doing work on his own clients. I've known he'd set on freelances since 2017, who got paid more than me. I also acquired knowledge about bounce back loans he'd claimed on all his other companies. Apart from this he helped clients apply and get bounce back loans. I had access to his ASA and he let me keep the access till my AMLS and ASA came through; but when it came to doing client's wages I could not submit because it no longer recognised the password that went with the ID. No matter how many times I contact him there is no answer and he has become evasive. I am having to set up Government Gateways now to continue submitting the payroll.

On a lighter note I have got authorisation through from client to file his payroll. That is now 6 signed up on Gov't Gateway and just 23 more to get authorised for; it is more than 22 I mentioned because some clients have payroll and tax returns. Luckily most of clients income tax returns have been filed while under his ownership. So I am winning the battle and I am wanting everything in place ready to sell most of them, when my AMLS comes through.

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Replying to Kosher:
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By bernard michael
24th Oct 2023 09:12

So you're selling the clients you've recently acquired. Any new accountant is going to be be very inquisitive after your latest post

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Replying to Kosher:
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By Tom+Cross
24th Oct 2023 09:38

Kosher, this all sounds like a complete and utter minefield and I am still struggling to appreciate how you came into contact with so much information relating to the "whys and wherefores" as regards the (allegedly illegal) application for bounce back loans, by your former employer.
The whole "arrangement" sounds extremely complicated, and when these situations arise, often the easiest and safest option, is to simply walk away.

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Replying to Tom+Cross:
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By Kosher
24th Oct 2023 11:45

Tom+Cross wrote:

Kosher, this all sounds like a complete and utter minefield and I am still struggling to appreciate how you came into contact with so much information relating to the "whys and wherefores" as regards the (allegedly illegal) application for bounce back loans, by your former employer.
The whole "arrangement" sounds extremely complicated, and when these situations arise, often the easiest and safest option, is to simply walk away.

I have already done so but I have decided to keep going with these clients another couple of years, some are nearing retirement. But on the BBLs I think it may be a case of letting sleeping dogs lie.
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By John R
24th Oct 2023 11:45

It appears that you became aware of information in the course of your previous employment that led you to suspect that your employer and/or his clients had made fraudulent BBLS applications. It is a legal requirement that you should have reported your suspicions to your MLRO (presumably your boss) at the time. The fact that you were not yourself registered for AML is irrelevant. I suggest you take urgent legal advice from a specialist such as David Winch as failure to report is a serious offence that could lead to imprisonment.

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Replying to John R:
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By Tom+Cross
24th Oct 2023 14:14

"I suggest you take urgent legal advice from a specialist such as David Winch as failure to report is a serious offence that could lead to imprisonment"

Careful. If we follow the true "spirit" of the anti money-laundering legislation (more akin to leg lifting) haven't you just tipped off our Aweb poster?

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Replying to Tom+Cross:
David Winch
By David Winch
24th Oct 2023 17:01

Tom+Cross wrote:

Careful. If we follow the true "spirit" of the anti money-laundering legislation (more akin to leg lifting) haven't you just tipped off our Aweb poster?


There are all sorts of money laundering issues here, but in my view tipping off is not one of them!
David
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Replying to davidwinch:
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By Kosher
24th Oct 2023 19:38

davidwinch wrote:

Tom+Cross wrote:

Careful. If we follow the true "spirit" of the anti money-laundering legislation (more akin to leg lifting) haven't you just tipped off our Aweb poster?

There are all sorts of money laundering issues here, but in my view tipping off is not one of them!
David

Thank you again
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Replying to Kosher:
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By Kosher
26th Oct 2023 11:11

Just would like to say this post is now finished with. After talking to David Winch I've decided to go no further with this due to threats and another innocent party being involved.

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