Monday, 02 March 2015

Ujima trial ends in two year sentence

A consultant at the centre of a £208,000 alleged fraud at the failed Ujima Housing Association has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

Paul Campagne, 47, of Coulsdon, Surrey, was found guilty at Isleworth Crown Court last Friday of seven counts of money laundering. He had received £208,000 from the association’s finance director George Avwunu, which it is alleged Mr Avwunu stole from the housing association.

Dr Campagne had transferred £160,000 of this money into bank accounts belonging to Mr Avwunu’s wife Rose Avwunu, and into an investment firm owned by Mr Avwunu. He denied knowing or suspecting that this money was the proceeds of crime.

Although the jury convicted Dr Campagne, it was discharged after it could not reach a verdict on Ms Avwunu, who is charged with two counts of money laundering. A date for re-trial has not yet been set.

Mr Avwunu absconded from bail in 2008 and has not been seen since.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Chris Webb

    So less than a student protester, but considerably more than those who led to the death of a bystander at the G20 protest, and more than was ever considered for the multi-million pound fiasco of Lady Porter.

    This is not to say that the sentance is not deserved, indeed for such an abuse of public money it seems slight, but it is hardly consistant with the sentencing carried out for other comparable offences. Is the law still blind, or is it really if your face fits?

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  • abner arrow

    What the reports fail to say, is his total fees as a consultant.

    Second question is that as a consultant, what was he consulting / advising on? Please specify as this service! may be needed by others in two years time.

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  • Afzal Shabir

    Cheeky Sexton as usual!

    Surely there will always be a market for consultants to advise on diversification. However, it seems there is a very fine line between diversification and siphoning off public cash...

    Anyway, this sentence isn't even a patch on the ponzi scheme perpetrators!

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  • Afzal Shabir

    Hello Dean Morelli (Sexton)- good of you to query my understanding further. I don't get many queries nowadays due to being a dictator and all that...

    Anyway, the jury have made their decision, who am I to judge?
    But, judging by what has been disclosed on this case so far by IH, it seems apparent that the selection of this consultant was by private negotiation, leading to more private negotiations outside of the organisation. If there had been a more robust procedure in the selection of this consultant in place ie past performance, references, market rate appraisals etc I am sure the Board would have had some further questions unanswered on this appointment than before.

    The key person in the case is missing so how the jury reached their verdict is open to debate - although it could have been based upon forensic accounting reports and witness statements minus the intentions of the people involved in the case missing or otherwise.

    Whether it is tax payers money or not, is not the issue, the issue is one of laundering money. Holding the money of clients should be a regulated process, so it would be interesting to see what type of regulation was applied, if any?

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  • abner arrow

    Hi Democratic Dictator

    I reassure you I am not Dean Morelli...

    Pls don't do this next time as this means I have to wait up all night to respond in this tiny box.

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  • Afzal Shabir

    Sorry to keep you up Sexton, I am sure you have better things to do than sit and play mind games with a bored 'Dictator'.

    I was only trying to get a response...

    I promise that next time I will not break the 'golden' rule !!!

    Sweet dreams, or in your case, happy soul hunting...

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  • Who says crime ( white collar) does not pay? 2.5 yrs for £208k =£83k/annum- the big elephant in the room remains blissfully ignored, after all too much scandal would be bad PR and field day for ambulance chasing libel lawyers?? and who or what would replace the revolving door syndrome? remember mums the word,
    stiff upper lip and carry on regardless old chaps & chapesses

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