Edward Cohen, 67, illegally sold medication – including viagra – through Jewish charities
An Orthodox man has been convicted of laundering proceeds from the illegal sale of medication totalling more than £10 million through Jewish charities.
Edward Cohen, 67, funnelled “huge sums of money” – from sales and charitable donations – through an international network of firms, bank accounts and currency exchanges.
Southwark Crown Court heard that the medication sold included Viagra, slimming pills and prescription medication.
Edward Cohen fled the country ahead of the start of the trial and was convicted in his absence.
Edward Cohen’s son David, a 38-year-old teacher, was cleared of money laundering charges and supplying false information to the Charity Commission.
But he was convicted of providing false information for the purposes of obtaining benefits.
David Cohen, of Ashbourne Avenue, in Temple Fortune, North London, was granted bail.
Both men will be sentenced on July 4.
The trial partly concerns the financial activity of charity Chabad UK – which is entirely separate from Chabad Lubavitch UK, and not part of the official Chabad movement.
Data obtained by police investigators show that in one financial year – 2012/13 – Chabad UK’s income jumped from £1.26 million to just under £8 million, almost £7 million of which came from merchant accounts linked to sales.
The following year, Chabad received £2.85 million from merchant accounts, out of a total income of £3.4 million.
It contrasted with the period from 2008 until 2012, when merchant account proceeds accounted for 2.5 per cent of an income of £6.05 million.
The jury heard that Chabad UK’s premises, on Oldhill Street in Stamford Hill, North London, were raided by police officers on September 1, 2014.
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