A LAWYER who failed to report money laundering suspicions over his client’s sale of a £105,000 home in Brierfield can keep on practising law.
Andrew Tidd, 52, was convicted of turning a blind eye to a property deal involving his client, Liverpool criminal Nevzat Kocabey and East Lancashire fraudster Mohammed Khatana in August 2007.
Kocabey had paid the deposits on the Hawkswood Gardens property, and another in the Toxteth area of Liverpool, using ‘dirty money’ and he was later jailed for two years.
Khatana is serving an eight-and-a-half year prison term for masterminding a bogus consultancy firm specialising in Proceeds of Crime Act cases.
Tidd, of Warrington, was given a four-month suspended prison sentence for five offences of failing to report money laundering suspicions involving Kocabey in December 2012.
But the 53-year-old solicitor was able to successfully argue before the Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) that he should be allowed to remain in the profession.
The SDT was told that when Tidd was dealt with at Burnley Crown Court, sentencing judge Andrew Woolman said he believed the investigation and suspended prison sentence were enough punishment for the lawyer.
The tribunal also heard Tidd had been made bankrupt when his firm, Yaffe Jackson Ostrin, had ceased trading in May 2012 over an unrelated matter.
He also told the SDT he had accepted an explanation from Kocabey's wife that he was in custody for financial matters rather than drugs offences.
An allegation that Tidd failed to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of justice was found proven by the SDT fitness to practise panel.
But chairman Jane Martineau said: “The degree of personal culpability on the part of the respondent in this particular case was minimal.”