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Judge shortage delays money-laundering trial for a year

By Charlie Moloney >>

(16 June 2023)

A money laundering case has been delayed by over a year due to a shortage of judges amid a national recruitment crisis for the judiciary, the Gazette has learned. 

Charles Anderson and Aytac Huseyin are being prosecuted by the Specialist Fraud Division and their trial was due to begin at Reading Crown Court on Monday. Judge Edward Burgess KC was told during a mention hearing that the case would need to be delayed and there was no availability to hear it within the following few weeks.

The earliest available date was 1 July 1 next year, the judge was told. He called the situation ‘rather regrettable”’and said a shortage of judges was a factor. ‘Unless the powers that be replenish the stock we will have only six full time judges,’ he remarked.

 Judge Paul Dugdale, who has been on the south eastern circuit since 2011, had been based at Reading for several years, but left before Christmas.

Judge Burgess, who was appointed in March 2019 and has been based at Reading since then, is due to leave on 23 June. Fixing the case for next year, Burgess apologised to the parties in the case. He commented: ‘I am afraid it is symptomatic of the way things are across the system at the moment.’

Anderson, 64, is charged with two counts of carrying on the business of a company, Alliance ES Ltd, for a fraudulent purpose, namely investment, between October 2017 and January 2020 and failing to disclose money laundering in a regulated sector between September 25 2018 and September 27 2018. 

He also faced 15 charges that he concealed, disguised, converted, transferred or removed criminal property. Those charges concerned alleged transfers – totalling £286,857 – from a Esecure Partners Ltd bank account to FSE Global Solutions, Unicredit Bank Bratislava, Slovakia; SC Swiss Global Burharest Romania and Nuakamon Dejsuwannachai Kasikorn Public Company Ltd, Bangkok Thailand.

Huseyin, 57, of Loughton, Essex, faces four counts of carrying on a business with intent to defraud creditors between October 2017 and January 2020 and one count of having concealed, disguised, converted, transferred or removed criminal property regarding an alleged transfer of £18,035.89 from Esecure Barclays Account to FSE Global Solutions, Unicredit Bank, Bratislava.

There are six court rooms at Reading, based at the Old Shire Hall in the town. But there are also two overspill courts which sit in rooms at the nearby magistrates court – making eight in total.

On the day of the mention hearing – Thursday – Court 3 and Court 7 were not sitting.

(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)