Drug Gang Jailed For Money Laundering

Two men and one woman have been sentenced to 18 years in prison following convictions for money laundering and other offences.

Following a nine-week-long trial at Winchester Crown Court that ended on Friday, 6 May 2011, the two ringleaders, Stuart Archer and Peter Lawler were found guilty of money laundering and being concerned in the supply of heroin, and were sentenced on Friday, 1 July 2011, to nine years and seven years in prison.

Christine Archer – Stuart Archer’s mother – was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to two years in prison. She had been at the centre of the money laundering operation, acquiring a property and a business in Bournemouth.

Stuart Archer’s wife, Amy Archer, received a 12-months suspended sentence for money laundering as did Peter Lawler’s wife, Stephany Lawler.

Stephany Lawler had previously lived a luxury life style from the proceeds of crimes, driving a BMW convertible and paying in excess of £30,000 for a wedding and a round-the-world honeymoon.

In less than three years the Archer and Lawler families, both from Liverpool, have profited from crimes in excess of £400,000.

From these proceeds they purchased a property in Bournemouth, a restaurant business – Mamma Mia in Bournemouth which has subsequently closed – and high-value cars, including a Porsche 911 and BMWs. Usually the properties and cars were registered in the women’s names.

Over £300,000-worth of criminal assets owned by the network are currently subject to a court restraining order and proceedings are now underway for confiscation.

Detective Inspector Susan Wynn, of Head of the Economic Crime Unit, said:

“These convictions follow arrests in Bournemouth, Poole and Merseyside back in July and August 2009, a complex money laundering investigation and a nine-week trial between February and May 2011.

“These convictions show that Dorset residents can be confident that we will pursue any persons and their dependents, living of proceeds of crime, vigorously.”

In the same trial another man, Peter Allen, pleaded guilty to being concerned in the supply of heroin on the first day of trial and was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

The sentencing of Peter Carney-Lawler, Peter Lawler’s son, has been adjourned for pre-sentencing report.