Nikki Flowers, 40, from Llanishen in Cardiff, has today been sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court for money laundering after a jury found Flowers unanimously guilty on 20th April 2021. He has been sentenced with an 18 month suspended sentence, disqualified from being a director for five years and been ordered to pay £562.31 in compensation, £1,000 prosecution charges and a £140 surcharge.
In May 2018, Flowers acted as a ‘money mule’ for overseas criminal gangs. This involved receiving illegally obtained funds and attempting to transfer parts of the money to the bank accounts of potential gang members.
The money received was obtained as a result of a ‘phishing’ email scam, of which Nationwide Platforms Ltd (NPL) fell victim to.
The fraudulent email claimed to be from BT, and provided ‘new’ bank account details, explaining that all future payments are to be made there. Unbeknown to NPL, these bank details actually belonged to a company called Massive Dynamic Inc. Ltd (MDiL), of which Nikki Flowers was the sole Director.
After NPL made a payment of £192,892.09 to these false details, Flowers attempted to withdraw and transfer these funds to his criminal counterparts believed to be from the Netherlands, USA, Nigeria and France.
Flowers failed in his attempts and his actions ultimately led to reports of fraud made against him to Action Fraud. Investigations by the South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit found CCTV footage and recorded phone calls to his bank, which were both used in evidence against him in court.
Michelle Fogarty, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said:
“Whilst this kind of fraud is often targeted towards companies, they have real and long-lasting impacts on the employees of these companies, whose livelihoods might be at risk as a direct result of losses incurred by their employer.”
If you suspect any fraudulent activity, please report it in one of the following ways: