Money launderer, 67, who tried to buy a knighthood is convicted in his absence of £10million Jewish charities scam after going on the run
A fugitive who once tried to buy a knighthood has been convicted of laundering more than £10million, made from the illegal sale of sex pills, through a Jewish charities scam.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies, some of them promoting Orthodox Judaism and ‘helping the Jewish poor’.
He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Cohen, who fled the country before his trial began, also used some of the proceeds to try and purchase a gong from the Queen, supposedly in recognition of his work with the sham charities.
Cohen’s teacher son David, 38, was also involved in the charities but was cleared of money laundering charges and supplying false information to the Charity Commission.
But he was convicted of failing to notify a change in circumstances when obtaining benefits and bailed ahead of sentence on July 4.
David told jurors his signature had been forged on charity documents and insisted he had no idea what his crooked father was up to.
He said: ‘If I had known that my father was involved in any sort of dirty money I would have run a mile. I would not have not asked for his help, no way Jose.
‘I am sure I am not the only child who does not know how their father makes money.’
Cohen denied but was convicted in his absence of a series of offences including supplying false information to the Charity Commission and money laundering offences after a two month trial.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest and he will be sentenced in his absence on July 4.
Edward Cohen, 67, set up a ‘bewildering’ network of companies that he used to launder money through. He diverted vast sums of cash, alongside legitimate charitable donations, via foreign exchange firms before sending it overseas, Southwark Crown Court heard
Earlier James Dawes, QC, prosecuting, said Cohen set up a ‘bewildering variety of companies and they either put themselves or their family members as directors’.
‘The companies were simply vehicles. Either the Revenue was told these companies were dormant or they made no returns.’
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