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Jordan Workman who used to go to church in Ashford convicted of laundering more than £240,000

A former churchgoer, who dreamed of owning gold and driving a Porsche, helped an international conman launder hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The money was the proceeds of scams after innocent victims were ripped off by fake investment offers.

And although Jordan Workman was not part of the fraud - he set up two banks accounts in the UK in which £314,000 was then laundered.

Jordan Workman dreamed of driving a Porsche sports car
Jordan Workman dreamed of driving a Porsche sports car

Lawyers for the 25-year-old married man told Canterbury Crown Court of Workman's Christian values of honesty and trustworthiness.

Among the people who testified to Workman's "humility and integrity" was a former Ashford chief superintendent of police - and the boss of a Mayfair investment company.

But Judge Rupert Lowe told him: "You were driven by personal greed. Your head was turned by thoughts of untold wealth.

"The idea of finding gold for yourself and driving Porches had a very significant influence on you."

The court heard how Workman met a Russian-American fraudster calling himself Vlad Malay at a Christian retreat in Israel.

The judged quipped that whatever biblical studies were done, Workman had not considered the Bible warning about the difficulty of a rich man gaining the Kingdom of God.

Workman was impressed by Malay’s boasts of being wealthy and was "groomed" into setting up a business called Red Rock Capital with two bank accounts in the UK in which hundreds of thousands of pounds were then laundered.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

Prosecutor Caroline Knight said the money came from victims of "cold call" scams.

She added: "There is no evidence Workman was ever involved in the fraud but he was suspicious of Vlad's activities, even joking he might face a 10-tyear sentence for his part.

In WhatsApp texts between the two men showed the pair had shared jokes about the fraud.

Bartholomew O'Toole, defending, said Workman met Vlad while in Israel on an International biblical and theological studies.

"He liked and trusted him initially and was not involved in the fraud."

The court heard how the banks later became suspicious and froze the accounts, enabling some of the money to be returned to those defrauded.

Judge Lowe said: "From the outset it is clear from the texts that Workman suspected it was dodgy.

"You were driven by personal greed... your head was turned by thoughts of untold wealth..." - Judge Rupert Lowe

"They were joking about scams in their emails. That's in black and white."

Mr O'Toole added Workman is the son of a Christian speaker who visits prisons and worshipped with his son at a non-denominational church in Ashford.

Former Kent chief superintendent Alistair Hope, and fellow churchgoer, told the judge that Workman was "thoughtful, reserved and had been trusted" by his church community.

"He is a very private young man who led Bible study and never blew his own trumpet," he said.

But the judge told Workman that putting forward his Christian credentials was a "two edged sword" and "smacked of hypocrisy".

Workman, who now lives in North London and works at a Mayfair-based investment company, admitted laundering more than £240,000 and was given a two year jail sentence suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work for the community and will now face a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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