Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Friday, 27 March 2009

Man laundered part of 26m raid

Ted Cunningham has been found guilty of money laundering
Ted Cunningham has been found guilty of 10 counts of money laundering

Irish financial adviser Ted Cunningham has been found guilty of laundering more than £3m in cash from the £26.5m Northern Bank robbery.

Cunningham, 60, of Farran, County Cork, who faces up to 14 years in jail, will be sentenced next month.

A majority of the jury at Cork Criminal Court found him guilty on 10 charges.

A gang stole the money from the headquarters of the Northern Bank in Belfast in December 2004 in a raid blamed on the IRA.

NORTHERN BANK TIMELINE
Money taken from Cunningham home
20 December 2004 a gang steals £26.4m from the headquarters of the Northern Bank in Belfast. The raid is blamed of the IRA.
February 2005 £2.3m is seized from the house in Farran, County Cork, of money lender Ted Cunningham.
November 2005 11 people in Northern Ireland questioned about the raid. Three are charged, including bank employee Chris Ward.
January 2007 Charges against two people are dropped in Belfast. The case against Chris Ward is scheduled to proceed.
March 2008 Ted Cunningham is charged with money laundering cash connected to the Northern Bank raid.
October 2008 The case against Chris Ward collapses in Belfast.
March 2009 After a 10 week trial at Cork Circuit Cork Ted Cunningham is found guilty of money laundering.

The money lender said £2.3m found in the basement of his home in February 2005 came from the sale of a gravel pit in Offaly to Bulgarian businessmen.

Cunningham's 33-year-old son, Timothy, had pleaded guilty, near the start of his father's 10-week long trial to four charges of money laundering arising out of the Belfast cash centre robbery.

After a brief adjournment, Judge Murphy called the parties back into the courtroom and remanded Cunningham in custody.

"I will remand him in custody for two reasons," said the judge.

"The seriousness of the charges and the course of the case."

The formerly well-respected businessman held back tears as he hugged his partner and family members, including an inconsolable Timothy Cunningham Jnr.

He also made a quick telephone call and shook hands with his barristers and gardai working in the court, thanking them for their work, before he was led away by prison officers.

Both he and his son - who remains on bail - will be sentenced on Friday, 24 April.

Irish police claimed that, under interrogation, the money lender said he was given £4.9m from an unidentified male in a Northern Ireland registered car, whom he met on four occasions.

During the trial Cunningham said he only signed the written recording of the interview because police had terrified him and threatened to leak that he had named IRA names in custody, something, he believed that would have resulted in his murder.

The jury retired on Thursday and reconvened for more deliberations on Friday morning.

Cunningham clutched rosary beads and his lips trembled as the jury returned to the courtroom after four hours and 40 minutes and returned majority verdicts on all the charges he faced.



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