Two found guilty of Olympic money-laundering

 

Two men have been jailed for money laundering following a £2.3 million fraud against the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Ayodele Odukoya, 42, of Paignton Close, Romford, Essex, was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail after being found guilty of two charges of money laundering in relation to the fraud.

Abayomi Olowo, 48, of Windsor Road, Harrow, north west London, who was found guilty of four money laundering offences, received a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years.

Judge Martin Beddoe, sentencing Odukoya and Olowo, said: "As the jury has found, both of you were ready and willing participants in the scheme to launder £2.3 million stolen from the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

"It is of course, a very significant sum of money."

He added: "I am told of the inevitable effect on your families as a consequence of what you did. I take the view that is something you should have thought about before you embarked upon this determined involvement in crime."

Six other people, including two women, were cleared by jurors of money laundering charges in relation to the fraud.

A third man, Ansumara Kamara, pleaded guilty to a series of money laundering charges in 2010 and was sentenced last year to three-and-a-half years in jail.

The convictions and sentencing come after Southwark Crown Court was told a gang of fraudsters tricked the ODA out of £2.3 million.

The court was told that conmen had contacted the ODA, responsible for planning and building venues and Games-related infrastructure, pretending to work for construction firm Skanska.

The authority was told that the company, which has worked on numerous projects for the 2012 Olympic Games, was changing its bank account details and that all future payments should be made into the new account, jurors were told.

The authority then made a payment in May 2010 of £2.3 million into the account which was in fact held by Kamara, described in court as ringleader.

After the money was paid, Kamara then made a series of rapid transactions to try to cover his tracks, prosecutor James Dawes told the court.

Southwark Crown Court heard today that more than £2 million has been recovered so far from the fraud.

The six cleared today of money laundering charges were Shamsidden Owo, 75, of Brookfield Road, Hackney, east London, the father of Olowo and who was found not guilty of four counts of money laundering.

Shakeela Ayub, 28, of Brudenell Road, Leeds, was acquitted of two counts.

Nadeem Khan, 38, of Richmond Crescent, Slough, Berkshire; Mbinty Kargbo, 26, of Crofton Road, Camberwell, south-east London; Sanjeev Kumar, 30, of Bell Street, Bilston, West Midlands; and Sakiru Adewale, 58, of no fixed abode, were also cleared of one charge each.

Sue Patten, head of the Crown Prosecution Service's central fraud group, said: "Fraud is about money making and is motivated by greed. In this case, the fraudsters directly targeted scarce public funds earmarked to ensure the success of London 2012.

"Thanks to the quick action of those involved, £2.14 million was immediately frozen and those responsible now face custodial sentences."

An ODA spokesman said: "We are pleased that this case has now reached a conclusion. The vast majority of the money, around 95%, was recovered although we now hope that the remaining £68,000 can be retrieved through further investigation by Operation Podium.

"Our payments system was reviewed and strengthened immediately after the incident to further limit the risk of fraud."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas