In January 2019 Ross McKay, then from Handforth in Greater Manchester, was found guilty of assisting a couple in developing a property portfolio based substantially on fraudulently obtained funds over at least a five-year period.
The portfolio was substantial, with the judge sentencing McKay to seven years in jail on the basis of over £1m being involved.
In a ruling issued last month, the Solicitor’s Tribunal ordered McKay to be struck off from the solicitor’s roll and to pay costs of £1,450.
Significant harm to the profession
The tribunal noted that McKay’s conduct had caused significant wider harm to the reputation of the profession arising from his conviction for serious offences related to money laundering.
“Keeping the solicitors’ profession free of money laundering, and complying with its legal and regulatory requirements, is in the interest of the profession and the public as it is a key way of disrupting serious crime,” said tribunal chairwoman Alison Banks.
The tribunal added that aggravating factors applied to the misconduct.
It noted the breaches took place over a lengthy period and that McKay knew or should reasonably have known he “was in material breach of obligations to uphold the proper administration of justice and protect the reputation of the legal profession”.
It was also noted that McKay had made early admissions and did not contend that he should be struck off.
At the time of his sentencing, Greater Manchester Police economic crime unit senior financial investigator Adrian Ladkin said: “McKay was fully aware that the purpose of the transactions was to launder criminal proceeds and he was deliberately dishonest in facilitating them.
“As a solicitor, McKay was in a position of trust, but he spectacularly failed in his legal duties through his corrupt and unlawful actions.”