In an era when we have the first female Doctor Who, female heads of the Met, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service, and a female sort-of-Prime Minister, it is perhaps only right that women should be in the money laundering ascendency as well. We have had plenty of instances of men being the instigators and their female significant others allowing their accounts to be abused, or paying in money, or otherwise playing a subsidiary role. But a recent case from Shropshire reversed the roles, when a female finance director pinched £660,000 from her employer and used her husband’s personal and business accounts to launder it.
Personally I am an equal opportunities loather: I hate all money launderers, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, appearance, colour, nationality, age or state of physical/mental health. But professional criminals know that courts often think differently – particularly when more traditional individuals are on the bench or in the jury box. Moreover, there has been – quite rightly – concern that sentencing courts do not take enough account of the damaging impact that custodial sentences can have on the children of imprisoned primary carers (usually, mothers) and there has been a call for courts to “be more lenient to women criminals”. Again, professional criminals know how to work the system, and for decades the mafia, for instance, have entrusted their female family members with the money laundering. It’s not the sort of equality that women usually seek, but perhaps it is a real sign of the times that female criminals are now doing the same.