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How ex-golf shop boss from Perth reclaimed his life after money laundering for local crook

Moray Anderson is committed to helping others after admitting his role in a £25,000 money laundering scheme.

Moray Anderson
Moray Anderson has rebuilt his life following a dark chapter in his life.

A former golf shop boss from Perth who was tricked into money laundering for a local drug dealer has told how he has rebuilt his life to help others.

Moray Anderson did not know why he was being asked to shift tens of thousands of pounds worth of cash payments through his bank account.

In fact, he did not care.

Over a six-month period in 2019, he agreed to receive and transfer £25,000 to help his crooked acquaintance disguise where his cash was really coming from.

At the time, Mr Anderson did not think much of the scheme – only that it was keeping him in beer money.

So it was a surprise when police came knocking at his door two years later and asked what he knew about money laundering.

“It was completely out of the blue,” he said.

“The old me would have reacted by picking up a drink.”

Didn’t ask questions

Originally from the west coast, Mr Anderson moved to the Perthshire area some 15 years ago and worked in the golfing industry as a greenkeeper before moving into sales.

He was manager at Murrayshall golf shop in his home town of Scone.

“I think I struggle to deal with golf now,” the 51-year-old said.

“It just doesn’t seem as important to me now.”

Moray Anderson in Perth
Moray Anderson had to rebuild his life after being in the grips of alcoholism.

Mr Anderson was in the grips of alcoholism when he agreed to launder money for an acquaintance.

“I was mixing with the wrong people,” he said.

“I had an associate who was involved in some stuff and I was moving money into my bank account and then transferring it to him.

“But I wasn’t caring at the time. I was drinking a lot and I didn’t ask any questions.”

He said: “As much as he may have taken advantage of me, I have to take responsibility for my own actions.

“I knew what I was doing wasn’t right but it wasn’t until the first time the sheriff explained it to me that I realised how serious it was.”

Mr Anderson appeared at Perth Sheriff Court last year and admitted acquiring and transferring criminal property between January 1 and June 6 2019.

Moray Anderson
Mr Anderson appeared at Perth Sheriff Court

Sheriff Alison McKay imposed a community-based sentence but told him she had considered sending him to jail.

“You need to be clear that you are standing on the doorstep of Perth Prison and banging on the door, asking to be let in,” she told him.

“That was a shock,” he said. “It didn’t feel real.”

Mr Anderson said he was “absolutely not” mentally prepared for prison.

“It never dawned on me how serious this charge was,” he said.

“You don’t think about it when you’re in amongst it – all you think about is that it’s a way to get £50 for booze and away you go.”

He was sentenced to the maximum 300 hours unpaid work and placed on a six-month restriction of liberty order.

Not so glamorous

Money laundering may conjure up images of slick crime dramas like Ozark and Breaking Bad, but Mr Anderson assures the reality is a world apart.

“There was nothing glamorous about it at all,” he said.

“The Crown investigated me to see if there was anything to confiscate.

“But I was driving a car that was third or fourth-hand at the time.

“I don’t have a yacht moored off Saint Tropez or an offshore account on the Cayman Islands or anything like that.”

Scene from Breaking Bad
Not like on TV: Mr Anderson said money laundering is nothing like as glamorous as its made out on shows like Breaking Bad. Image: Netlix

Mr Anderson said he did not benefit from the crooked scheme, just taking small payments each transfer, which he spent on alcohol.

Police found 22 cash deposits totalling £25,787 in his account.

Mr Anderson made 19 payments to the individual at a total of £24,616.

He said: “All I did was make some bad choices.

“There was no thought process behind it, only that this sounds like a good idea right now.

“There was no thought how it would effect other people.”

Support groups

One day Mr Anderson woke up and realised he had to stop drinking.

He felt his life spiralling out of his control and knew he had to somehow reclaim it.

“There is a recovery community in Perth now that is growing but at the time I didn’t know where to go.

“There wasn’t a huge amount of support here and I had to travel to Dundee for fellowship and recovery meetings.”

Now he hosts his own meetings at Perth’s Trinity Church every Thursday.

Trinity Church of Nazarene, York Place, Perth
Meetings are held each week at the Trinity Church of Nazarene, York Place, Perth

But he is modest about the volunteering he does.

“It’s not like I’m inventing anything, I’m just passing on what other people in recovery have told me.

“One of the big things for me is that I thought I was the only person drinking the way I did, the only person who was as bad as I was.

“But people should know they are not alone.”

Dreams of relapse

Earlier this month, Mr Anderson returned to court to ask for a review of his community payback order.

He admits he struggled working with others who were drinking on the job.

“We did various things on community service.

“We were out removing graffiti or cutting back bushes at schools.

“One time we built a fence that I was really proud of.

“But I was finding empty bottles and I witnessed people consuming alcohol, even though they were absolutely not allowed to.”

Unpaid worker painting
Mr Anderson was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work

Mr Anderson said he began getting “relapse dreams”.

“I was waking up and there was a sense of relief because I knew I hadn’t relapsed in real life.

“But I would fall back asleep and went straight back into the dream – I felt I was losing my mind.”

He spoke to his GP who agreed the unpaid work order was putting his sobriety at risk.

She penned a letter to the court, outlining his difficulties.

Mr Anderson was prepared to pay a fine instead of continuing the work.

But in a highly unusual move, Sheriff Clair McLachlan revoked the unfinished order and took no further action.

Connection, not addiction

Mr Anderson said: “What I do now is take the experiences of recovery, the court and having the tag and use those experiences to speak to others who are going through something similar,.

“It helps them open up to me.

“I often say that connection is the opposite of addiction.

“When you are on your own, your addiction or alcoholism is telling you: ‘It’ll be alright this time, you can have a drink because you haven’t had one for a while.’

“But the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.

“And that’s what addiction is like. You don’t realise that it can lead to carnage and that you could end up in court.”

Man drinking a pint of beer
Marketing for beer and alcohol is rife.

Mr Anderson said the best way to find local support services is via national helplines for groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

“Alcohol is so prevalent in our society.

“You can’t walk down a street without seeing an off-licence or a pub advertising drink – especially now the Euros are on.

“It’s everywhere and it can be a real pressure but now I have the tools to deal with things.

“Instead of picking up a drink, I pick up the phone and speak to someone.”

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