Margate money launderer sentenced to five years in prison
A MAN from Margate who set up fake companies to launder money has been jailed for five years.
Dubbed the 'career criminal', Elvaldas Ziogas, 31, from High Street, Margate pocketed almost £300,000 from the illegal activity since 2009.
The Lithuanian born crook came to the UK in 2003.
Ziogas was arrested in May 2009 after he paid in stolen cheques into a third party account.
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The money laundering team from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate then started an investigation and found he had paid over £50,000 in cash deposits into his account over a 12 month period.
He was arrested again on December 15, 2010 when officers found that he had set up a business account in the name of Stone GB Ltd and set up numerous credit and debit cards.
Officers seized a computer belonging to Ziogas which contained a three page document with 36 names that were encrypted along with bank account details, credit card details and catalogue details.
In another bank account, more than £158,000 was paid in cash deposits and almost instantly transferred to other accounts of Lithuanian nationals.
He used fake passports to open the accounts, and set up fraudulent accounts to not pay for fuel at Pay at Pump stations.
Officers found more funds when they discovered another two bank accounts had been set up in his parents' names which amounted to £60,000.
HHJ James described Ziogas as a career criminal and a vital and significant part of a wider organised criminal community.
Detective Sergeant David Ecuyer from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: 'The conviction and sentencing today reflects months of dedicated work by investigators from the Kent & Essex Directorate.
'Their work demonstrates the determination of Kent Police to effectively deal with all aspects of organised crime in support of their colleagues from the East Kent Division, in order to bring law and order all of the hard working communities within their policing area and to encourage anyone suffering from any form of servitude to come forward with the confidence that we have the ability and experience to deal with this type of criminality.'
Ziogas pleaded guilty on January 14 to 13 fraud and money laundering charges and was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on February 14.
He was also disqualified from being a director for a limited company for 6 years.