Mum denies knowing partner's loan business was illegal

Sessions House
Sessions House
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A loan shark’s partner has denied knowing his loan firm was illegal.

Grandmother Karen Roberts, of Isleworth Avenue, Chorley, insisted she believed partner John McCullagh was licenced to run Euxton Finance and did not know monies he paid into her accounts were illicit proceeds.

He has already admitted illegal lending offences, but she denies money laundering.

The prosecution says she helped launder the proceeds of his business by allowing her bank accounts to be used, and that she possessed the proceeds and used them to fund her lifestyle.

At her trial at Sessions House Court, the 57-year-old brunette said: “ I believed it was legal.

“He seemed to be quite open about houses and things and he seemed an ordinary normal guy, very hard working, he seemed to be doing all right.”

A year after the couple started dating in 2006, McCullagh transferred several buy to let properties into her name.

She added: “It was because it would reduce the interest rate and release a little bit of equity and I suppose I thought it was a nice gesture that he wanted to do that for me.”

The court heard how a USB stick found in a search of their home contained documents indicating £880,000 was loaned since July 2008 and that £1.28m was received in repayments.

More than £750,000 unexplained deposits were received into various accounts over six years, made up of more than 1,400 cash and cheque deposits totalling £457,613, and 6,933 electronic payments from 193 ‘customers’ totalling £311,278.

(proceeding)