Shropshire couple sentenced for fraud and money laundering

A Shropshire husband and wife have been sentenced after pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering offences.

Aimee Purchase, 36, of Hunter’s Gate, Much Wenlock, admitted fraud by abuse of a position of trust while Rikki James Purchase, 38, of the same address, pleaded guilty to concealing / disguising / converting / transferring /removing criminal property (money laundering) to the value of more than £100,000. Both were sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday.

Aimee Purchase was jailed for two years and eight months and Rikki Purchase was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “Aimee Purchase was employed as the finance director for a company called MI Engineering Limited based in Lye, Stourbridge, while Rikki Purchase was the director of a company called Monster Tuning Limited working from an industrial estate in Telford.

“As a result of MI Engineering Limited completing its year-end accounts in August 2014, it was established that there was a discrepancy to the value of more than £660,000.

“The investigation by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police’s Economic Crime Unit found that the money had been paid to either an account in the name of Monster Tuning Limited or had been credited to accounts belonging to Aimee and Rikki Purchase.

“Enquiries revealed that the money stolen from MI Engineering Limited had been used to fund the couple’s lifestyle and also to support Rikki Purchase’s company Monster Tuning Limited.

DI Wright added: “This has been a long and complex investigation and I am pleased with the verdict of the court. I feel the sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime, as well as how Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police remain committed to bringing those committing fraud and financial crime to justice.

“Both defendants will now also face proceedings to recover the assets stolen, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This process can allow for victims to be compensated and denies criminals the benefits of their crimes.”