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    Two more people have been charged with money laundering in the criminal case involving construction boss George Alex.

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      money laundering

      More People Charged with Money Laundering in George Alex Construction Boss Case

      Two more people have been charged with money laundering in the criminal case involving construction boss George Alex.

      Peter Kay, the brother-in-law of Mr Alex, has now been charged over the alleged $20 million tax fraud and money laundering scheme.

      Prosecutors allege the scheme was run by George Alex and well-known crime figure Michael Ibrahim.

      54-year-old Mr Kay is married to Mr Alex’s sister Athina. He becomes the 14th person to be arrested in relation to the alleged scheme.

      Peter Kay Charged with Proceeds of Crime Offences

      Peter Kay appeared at court on Tuesday, 28 September 2021 charged with recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime. The total amount alleged was in excess of $450,000.

      Prosecutors will argue that this amount should have been paid to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) but instead went into Mr Kay’s bank accounts.

      The maximum penalty for recklessly dealing with proceeds of crime is 10 years imprisonment.

      Money Laundering Charges Laid

      On 21 July 2020, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) arrested over a dozen people in connection with an alleged money laundering scheme.

      The AFP will allege that construction labour-hire companies and associated payroll operators were used to defraud the ATO.

      The people arrested so far include George Alex’s son Arthur as well as Michael Ibrahim’s wife Caitlin Hall. Ms Hall has been charged with fraud offences.

      Mr Ibrahim is currently serving a 30-year jail sentence for conspiring to import over 1.7 tonnes of MDMA, 136 kilograms of cocaine and 15 kilograms of methylamphetamine.

      Last month Michael Ibrahim’s nephew, 24-year-old Abraham Sayour was also charged with proceeds of crime offences in relation to the same alleged fraud syndicate.

      Alleged Details of George Alex Crime Revealed

      A police statement of facts set out the George Alex crime allegations. The AFP claim that on 15 May 2019, Mr Kay was heard on a phone intercept saying, “George and Mick have put nearly 3 million in the business.”

      Prosecutors submitted that this was a reference to Permaform International, a concrete formwork company alleged to be secretly controlled by Mr Alex and Ibrahim. The company is said to have been used for money laundering activities.

      In July 2019 the ATO issued garnishee notices against Ms Hall, a make-up artist, and her “consulting” company. This was because Ms Hall had failed to lodge any business activity statements (BAS) and personal tax returns despite the large cash deposits being made into her company accounts.

      At the time the AFP were electronically monitoring George Alex’s phone. Police claim to have recorded Mr Kay and Mr Alex on 6 July 2019 discussing whether the ATO were targeting Ms Hall.

      Four days later Mr Alex is said to have spoken to Michael Ibrahim in jail and suggested that the ATO investigation may have only been because she hadn’t filed her BAS. Mr Ibrahim said that he and Ms Hall were new to paying tax.

      Peter Kay and George Alex Bankruptcy

      Both Peter Kay and George Alex have been bankrupted in the past. Mr Kay was only discharged from bankruptcy in August 2021.

      In 2017 he was the director of a construction management company which collapsed, owing creditors more than $19 million. One of the listed creditors was Permaform Concrete which claimed it was owed more than $200,000.

      As a result of this he was bankrupted in 2018 and was forced to relinquish a number of directorships. These included Scarecrow Joe’s, a company run by Samier Dandan, the head of the Lebanese Muslim Association. The two men remain shareholders. Mr Kay was also involved previously in Mr Dandan’s beauty supplements company, Liquipure.

      Peter Kay Bail Conditions

      Following his arrest, Peter Kay was granted bail and will face court again on 23 November 2021.

      As part of his bail conditions, he must report to police three days a week and be of good behaviour.

      Some of the more onerous conditions include surrendering his passport, not going within one kilometre of any international point of departure, not communicating with certain people, and not contacting “any person named in the Australian Federal Police Statement of Facts”.

      Significantly, Mr Kay is only allowed to use one mobile phone number and must provide police with its password. This is a condition that bail application lawyers usually only suggest where there is a bail concern associated with have multiple mobile phones.

      A surety was also required to deposit $25,000 in security to ensure he complies with his bail, and he must not “directly or indirectly” control, use or benefit from any of the companies referred to in the police statement of facts.

      Money Laundering Lawyers

      Dealing with money or property that was proceeds of crime is an offence under Section 193B of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).

      The prosecution must prove that:

      1. The Accused dealt with (ie. received, possessed, concealed or disposed of) money or property; and
      2. (Depending on the level of knowledge alleged) The Accused knew; or was reckless; or was negligent as to that money or property being proceeds of crime; and
      3. (Only if charged with intending to conceal) intended to conceal that it was proceeds of crime.

      Usually money laundering charges are complex and difficult to defend. However, there have been a number of recent examples of people being found ‘not guilty’ to fraud charges or avoiding jail. You can read some of those cases by clicking here. Having the best criminal lawyers for proceeds of crime charges is crucial. Call Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823. Or, you can email

      We have offices throughout the Sydney metropolitan area where you can speak to Criminal Lawyers in Parramatta, Sydney and Liverpool. We can arrange a conference for you with a Law Society Accredited Specialist in money laundering offences.

      There are also a number of defences to money laundering charges which can be used to be found ‘not guilty’ of this offence.

      When there are large sums of money involved, Police can apply to the Supreme Court of NSW for ‘freezing orders’.

      This will prevent you accessing your bank accounts and can even cause your assets to be frozen. You will not be able to withdraw money from those accounts or sell those assets while the freezing orders are in place.

      When analysing sentencing statistics for money laundering from the Local Court, we can see that since 2018, 29% of persons found guilty of this offence received a jail sentence of some kind.

      Of the remaining offenders, 15% were sentenced to full-time prison. Only 5% received no conviction for money laundering. All other offenders received convictions on their criminal record.  

      In the District Court, 100% of offenders were sentenced to some form of imprisonment. 73% of offenders were sentenced to full-time jail.

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