THE son of a millionaire fraudster has been found not guilty of three charges of money laundering.
A jury ruled Daniel Hirst was not involved and did not profit from a so-called Ponzi investment scheme in which his father, Brighouse man John Hirst, has accepted his own involvement.
The scheme swindled millions of pounds from investors including ex-pats living in Mallorca.
Zoe Waite, the daughter of the John Hirst’s estranged wife, Linda, was also found not guilty of one charge of money laundering by the jury at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.
However, a unanimous jury found Linda Hirst guilty of a fourth money laundering offence – the same Zoe Waite was found not guilty of.
The jury ruled that Linda Hirst was guilty of converting criminal property of £552,553 for the purchase of a house in Surrey, knowing or suspecting that it constituted or represented a person’s benefit from criminal conduct.
Linda Hirst was found guilty of three further money laundering charges on Thursday, but three more charges against her are still being considered by the jury.
Daniel Hirst has been accused of three charges of money laundering – alleged to have acquired £32,987 knowing or suspecting that it constituted or represented a person’s benefit from criminal conduct.
A solicitor, he was also alleged to have been involved in the purchase of the Surrey house, but at lunchtime yesterday the jury found him not guilty by majority verdict.
Two charges against a second man, Richard Pollett, are yet to be returned by the jury.
Former accountant and financial advisor Pollett, 70, from Poole, Dorset, denied being part of a conspiracy to defraud investors and making misleading statements.
The trial has already heard how John Hirst, of Millroyd Mill, Brighouse, was jailed in the 1990s for a scam involving former miners.
A scheme he was involved in revealed that investors, who had been promised returns of 18% per annum with a 2% bonus, had put around £10m into Gilher, but had got back less than £5m.
Payments made from Gilher to Hirst’s personal accounts and companies associated with him totalled over £2m.
The Serious Fraud Office say that at least £270,000 was spent renovating the Hirsts’ £1.5m villa in Mallorca and their Las Vegas wedding cost more than £90,000.