A MILLIONAIRE'S wife has been found guilty of two counts of money laundering.
A jury yesterday returned the first verdicts in the trial of a so-called Ponzi investment scheme which swindled millions of pounds from investors including ex-pats living in Mallorca.
Linda Hirst, 62, is the estranged wife of John Hirst, 61, of Millroyd Mill, Huddersfield Road, Brighouse, who has accepted his own involvement in the scheme. But his wife, who lives in Surrey, had denied seven charges, including six of money laundering.
Yesterday the jury at Bradford Crown Court found her unanimously guilty of two money laundering charges against her – one worth £170,194.00 and another for £17,300.
She was also found guilty of evasion of liability by deception.
The jury have still to return verdicts on four more charges against her, plus one money laundering charge against her daughter Zoe Waite, 36, of Surrey, and three money laundering charges against Hirst's son Daniel, 35, of Marsh Lane, Leeds.
Former accountant and financial advisor Richard Pollett, 70, from Dorset, is also on trial with the trio but he denied being part of a conspiracy to defraud investors.
Judge Jonathan Durham-Hall, at Bradford Crown Court, heard that Linda Hirst had no idea her estranged husband had served time for fraud. She told the court she found out about his crimes only when new allegations were made about a massive scam.