Throughout history, there have been plenty of stories of criminal masterminds and gangs being apprehended for small items or misdemeanours, but it was these crimes that eventually pulled their entire empire down. The most famous re-telling of a story like this features Al Capone.

Never mind the reign of terror that Capone and his gang waged on New York, in the end, it was a failure to keep on top of his taxes that paved the way for the end of his run of crime. This should be a lesson to criminals everywhere. It is vital that you never get too big for your boots and that you spend time covering all of the aspects of your business, not just the headline making or eye-catching elements.

In the present day, there are more ways in which people can carry out criminal activities but there are also more ways to get caught out. A couple from Swansea were running a multi-million pound drug but they were rather careless in presenting the full picture to the world around them. The happy couple made a big show of blowing over £40,000 on their wedding day, but when you take on board the fact that the couple were both claiming benefits at the time, the overall picture becomes skewed.

Criminals need to launder their money

If we have learned anything from Breaking Bad, it is that it is vital that you create a cohesive story to explain where your new found income is coming from. Taking over a car wash business wasn’t the best use of anyone’s time but if Walter was going to spend recklessly, there needed to be some sort of story about how he was in a position to do so. Money laundering is of course also illegal, but for many criminals, it is a vital component of their activiti4es because it adds a level of legitimacy to their life.

However, Carl and Donna Honey-Jones never took this approach in life. There went on holiday to the Maldives, they paid for family trips to Lapland and they spent so much money on their wedding that it was said to have stood out like a sore thumb. There were top of the range cars, with private licence plates and the couple lived in a four bedroom home in suburbia. There is no way that the trappings of their lifestyle could be squared with the fact that they were working in minimum wage jobs while claiming considerable sums in benefits.

The judge was dismayed by what he saw

In court, the judge found the pair to be inept, and was dismayed at the bringing in of early members to the operation. Brian Harding, the father in law of Carl Honey Jones was used to blend cocaine with cutting agents in their garage while a cousin of the couple was stopped by police while he had thousands of pounds in the boot of his car. The brother and sister of Donna Honey-Jones also tipped off the police about the family activities after they made a phone call to police after they received threats from gangsters.

Judge Paul Thomas spoke about the couple and the greed that motivated them, saying; “Carl Honey-Jones, you were the dealer principal, and in your case it financed an extravagant lifestyle of foreign holidays, a lavish wedding and luxury cars. The sums involved were in the seven-figures, and you, Carl Honey-Jones, were at the very top of that conspiracy. Although it was lucrative, the operation that you led was inept and amateurish. Top-of-the-range cars and luxury brands in Penlan Road were bound to attract suspicion.”

A raid of 11 properties in Swansea uncovered cocaine, which had a street value of £750,000 and there was close to £60,000 in cash seized. Quad bikes and expensive jewellery were uncovered while officers also found wedding receipts for £40,000 and £40,000 in bills for family holidays. When you contrast this with the fact that Donna was earning £6,000 a year in her job and Carl was receiving a “pay as you earn” wage with a £5,000 salary, the couple were drawing attention to themselves.

There will be serious consequences for the drug charges but there will likely be additional charges relating to benefit fraud and other crimes. In this sort of case, there is a need to find a solicitor firm that has expertise and experience in a range of topics. There is a need for adequate and strong support for all of the charges that you may face, especially when you have been so relaxed in taking care of your finances and criminal dealings.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.