Money launderer who set up illegal BAR is ordered to pay back £63,000

Money launderer who set up illegal BAR is ordered to pay back £63,000

Last orders: Money launderer who set up £35,000 illegal PUB complete with TVs, gambling machines and a pool table in his garden is told to pay back £63,000 or face a year behind bars

  • Jamie Blake, 38, was caught after police search his North Shields home for drugs
  • Total of 13 unlicensed gambling and gaming machines were also found at bar 
  • A bundle of used money notes were found stashed in a cooker hood in kitchen 

Jamie Blake, 38, was caught after police searched his North Shields home for drugs in February 2017

A money launderer who illegally set up a bar with TVs and a gambling machine at the bottom of his garden has been ordered to pay back £63,000 or face a year in prison. 

Jamie Blake, 38, was caught after police searched his North Shields home for drugs in February 2017. 

Officers believe the facility – which included flat screen TVs and a fully furnished bar area complete with drinks – had cost around £35,000 to build. 

A total of 13 unlicensed gambling and gaming machines were also located and seized by officers.

The machines were later emptied and a bundle of used notes were found stashed in a cooker hood in the kitchen and £14,600 in cash was seized.

Blake was then arrested and subjected to a full investigation by officers from Northumbria Police’s Economic Crime Unit.

Officers were able to access Blake’s bank accounts where it was quickly established that he was funding an extravagant lifestyle, with expensive furnishings for his home and numerous holidays abroad without showing any sign of employment.

Officers believe the facility – which included flat screen TVs and a fully furnished bar area complete with drinks – had cost around £35,000 to build

Police say Blake had four different bank and credit card accounts in his name and in excess of £107,000 in cash credits had been made in the previous three year period. 

In April 2019, Blake, of North Shields, North Tyneside, appeared at crown court and pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring criminal property, one count possession of criminal property and abstracting electricity.

Last year he was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years at the same court.

A total of 13 unlicensed gambling and gaming machines were also located and seized by officers

And last week he was back again after police launched an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any assets he may have.

A judge ordered Blake to pay back a total of £63,076.41 within three months or face a 12 month stint behind bars.

Detective Chief Inspector at Northumbria Police, Martin Brooks, said: ‘Blake thought he had gotten away with his crimes and was living a life of luxury but the law soon caught up with him.

The machines were later emptied and a bundle of used notes were found stashed in a cooker hood in the kitchen and £14,600 in cash was seized

‘This was an excellent display of police work by officers and great example of the continued work under Operation Sentinel.

‘It required a lot of intelligence gathering as well as evidence recovery and tactical policing, all across a long period of time in order to secure a conviction.

‘We would always ask that members of the public are vigilant and if you see someone living beyond their means, or know that someone is leading a luxury lifestyle and something doesn’t add up, please get in touch with us.’

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