As a consequence of the first criminal prosecution of its kind, Jersey’s Royal Court has called a Director of trust and local financial service provider called STM Fiduciaire not guilty of claims involving an omission to report a suspicious transaction.
The Money Laundering Reporting Officer at the firm Michelle Jardine worked during May and June in 2011, when the suspicious transactions were claimed to have taken place. She allegedly omitted to report a transaction with funds received from an unknown third party to a politically exposed person (PEP) in a high-risk jurisdiction.
She was prosecuted as failure to report this is a criminal offence under section 34 of the Proceeds of Crime (Jersey) Law 1999, which has a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment. Usually civil sanctions are imposed and this was the first case in Jersey where criminal liability could possibly have arisen.
Judge Santos-Costa commented “alarm bells should sound when dealing with high-risk jurisdictions and PEPs. This case has shown that diligent background searches and care should be taken especially in these circumstances.”