A takeaway owner allowed his bank account to be used to launder part of the proceeds a quarter of a million pound fraud in order to save his ailing business, a court heard.
Calvin Wade allowed one of the customers at his Caribbean restaurant to access his account and place £32,000 in it as a part of a large scale deception.
Leeds Crown Court heard Wade was desperate for money at the time as his business was in financial trouble so “turned a blind eye” to the criminal activity.
The court heard how London-based property company Goldschmidt and Howland had been the victim of a fraud totalling £248,548 in 2013.
Someone claiming to be a bank employee managed to transfer large sums out of the firm’s online account.
Wade’s account was linked to the fraud during the police investigation. He was arrested and initially denied knowing anything about his account being used to launder money.
Wade, 42, of Wykebeck Valley Road, Gipton. Leeds pleaded guilty to money laundering on the day he was due to go on trial.
The court heard the father-of-four was a committed Christian and was ashamed of what he had done. Probation officer Malcolm Brown said the man who used his account to launder the money had become his friend through being a customer at his takeaway.
Mr Brown said the man had offered to help Wade out of financial trouble if he allowed him access to his bank account. He added: “He totally accepts that he did wrong and that he succumbed to temptation.”
Glenn Parsons, for Wade, said: “He was a small cog in a huge crime organisation but he must expect to be punished.”
Wade was given a five-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.