RECU Operation - against Lyndon Hudson

A businessman has been ordered to pay back more than half a million pounds after an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

 Criminal ordered to pay back £500,000

A businessman has been ordered to pay back more than half a million pounds after an investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

ERSOU’s Regional Economic Crime Unit (RECU) pursued Lyndon Hudson after he was jailed for 18 months in October for money laundering offences. The 41-year-old of Leicester Close, Leeds, was caught after trying to buy a Lamborghini car for £94,610 in cash in Watford in March 2013.

Investigations into the company revealed that a number of items being traded by his company Lex Jewellery Ltd were counterfeit with few records maintained and most of the transactions conducted in cash.

Following his guilty plea, a Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation investigation was launched and Financial Investigators from the RECU undertook a detailed examination of Hudson’s personal and business activities. The investigation culminated in finding that in the previous six years Hudson had benefitted from his criminal conduct to a value of £577,810.

Financial Investigators also identified that Hudson had assets totalling the same value that could be used to payback his benefit. The assets included £341,000 cash seized in November 2010 by West Yorkshire Police, £98,000 cash seized by Hertfordshire police, jewellery and watches to the value of at least £100,000 and £38,000 held in a property owned by Hudson in Leeds.

The £341,000 was seized from Hudson in 2010 by West Yorkshire Police officers. Hudson had been arrested near his home address in Leeds and found in his possession was a large black bin bag containing £341,150 in used notes. Hudson claimed that the money was related to his jewellery business and that he traded in high value watches. A sample of the notes were sent off for forensic examination and found to be heavily contaminated with cannabis which Hudson claimed was due to his own personal use of the controlled drug. Hudson was charged with money laundering offences in relation to this by the National Crime Agency and found not guilty of these offences at Birmingham Crown Court in August 2012. The money was seized and retained under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and if it had not been for the new arrest in Watford it would have been the intention of West Yorkshire Police to apply to forfeit this amount of cash under the civil powers of the Act. Hudson was then arrested in Watford.

At St Albans Crown Court on Thursday (18 June) he was ordered to pay the whole amount within three months or face a further four-and-a-half years in prison.

Asset Recovery Team Leader Paul Fitzsimmons said: “The Regional Economic Crime Unit was set up in October 2014, bringing together resources and expertise from across the region.

"The primary aim of this team is to remove assets from criminals, demonstrating that crime doesn’t pay and where possible ensure that victims of crime receive compensation. By combining resources in this case with West Yorkshire Police, we ensured that a substantial confiscation order was granted against this individual, sending out a really positive message to those criminals intending to benefit from their crimes."

David Charity, Financial Investigation Manager of West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “This is a significant result, taking a sizeable amount of money from a convicted money launderer. It is a great example of how several law enforcement agencies have worked together effectively.

"Despite Hudson’s acquittal in 2012, the powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 enabled West Yorkshire Police to lawfully retain the £341,150 which has now been included in ERSOU’s confiscation order."