News Business Crime & Financial Services 24th Feb 2021

David Whittaker QC defends bank compliance officer against allegation of money laundering

Joshua Brian, the husband of Melissa Khemani, has been charged with a number of counts of fraud, allegedly committed whilst he was employed at The Commonwealth Secretariat and then Cooley (UK) Ltd. His trial in relation to those matters is due to be heard in August 2021.

Following his arrest, the police spoke to Melissa Khemani (who had also worked for The Commonwealth Secretariat before moving to become a compliance officer at a bank in London) about her receipt of some of the proceeds of her husband’s fraud. In July 2020 she was charged with laundering the proceeds of his fraud.

Following service of the evidence, the defence wrote to the CPS inviting them to review the evidential test of the Code for Crown Prosecutors. In the unusual circumstances of this case we provided the prosecution with some of the evidence we had in our possession demonstrating why Ms Khemani had believed that her receipt of monies from her husband was legitimate; and, we invited them to conduct further inquiries which we argued were bound to affect the application of the Full Code Test. Those further enquiries continued until very shortly before a dismissal application was due to be heard in early January. Indeed, two days before that application, and following the disclosure of further defence material to the prosecution, the CPS indicated that they would be offering no evidence which they did at a hearing at Southwark Crown Court in February 2021.

David Whittaker QC was instructed by Katie Kipps of Murrays Partnership Solicitors.


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