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Blackfords LLP secure 10 not guilty verdicts for defendant accused of laundering bitcoin derived from multi-billion Chinese fraud

News12th June 2024

Gary Bloxsome, Jennifer Richardson, and Shauna Marriott together with Mark Harries KC of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers and Kevin Barry  of 36 Group represented the defendant in this long running matter which until recently was the subject of reporting restrictions.

This case forms part of the largest seizure of cryptocurrency in the UK and is believed to be the highest value criminal case to pass through the UK Criminal Courts to date.

The defendant was accused of laundering Bitcoin valued approximately 2.5 billion pounds, said to have been derived from a large-scale fraud generating around 6 billion pounds committed in China.

The defendant initially faced a 12-count indictment consisting of various money laundering offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2003.The defence team successfully in trial one submitted at the conclusion of the Crown’s case that there was no case to answer in relation to two of those counts. The remaining ten counts were considered by the jury who returned. Not Guilty verdicts in relation to eight counts but failed to reach a verdict in respect of the remaining two.

The Prosecution pursued a re-trial in relation to the remaining two counts, later amending the indictment to add a third new count. At the re-trial which took place in early 2024 the defendant was convicted of a solitary count by a 10-2 majority of being concerned in a money laundering arrangement involving around £1 million worth of Bitcoin.

As far as we are aware, these Not Guilty verdicts represent the highest monetary value acquittal in UK history.

No further comment will be made on this case as an application for leave to appeal against conviction has been lodged with the Court of Appeal.

Following the removal of reporting restrictions this matter has been widely reported in the media.


Sky News

Law Society Gazette


Blackfords LLP are recognised as one of the leading Crypto specialist defence teams in the UK.