‘Middleman’ handed 12 month sentence for metal scam

A 45-year-old man has been jailed for 12 months for handling £360,000 in illegal cash payments for the sale of scrap metal.

Scunthorpe-based Carl Bulmer broke money laundering regulations by acting as a middleman in the buying and selling of scrap metal for cash, a HMRC investigation revealed.

HMRC
A HMRC investigation heard that Mr Bulmer doubted the legitimacy of the arrangement but “needed the cash”

HMRC said in a statement that Mr Bulmer told officers he was approached by two men who asked him to weigh in scrap metal for them as they did not have bank accounts.

Process

Mr Bulmer said the unnamed associates would arrive at his home with a van of scrap, which was unloaded into his vehicle. Mr Bulmer would then travel to a scrap dealer and get cash payments in a sealed envelope, which he passed to the men.

The unnamed men gave Mr Bulmer £100, and an extra £20 for petrol. Bulmer said he had doubted the legitimacy of the arrangement, but went ahead regardless as he “needed the cash”.

HMRC investigations revealed Bulmer had travelled from Scunthorpe to the same scrap dealer on 75 separate occasions over a three year-period from 2013 and weighed in metal worth £368,924.

Scrap dealers are not legally allowed to pay, or be paid, in cash, and payments should be made by cheque.

‘Paying the price’

Tim Atkins, assistant director of the fraud investigation service at HMRC, said:  “Bulmer deliberately broke the law to line his own pockets. He thought his role in the scrap metal scam would go unnoticed, but he was wrong. He is now paying the price.

“Money launderers like Bulmer help criminals profit from their crimes. That’s something we will not tolerate. Anyone with information about money laundering should report it to HMRC online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

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