Lawyer who laundered millions for Comancheros gang jailed

A Comanchero gang patch.
A Comanchero gang patch. Photo credit: Getty

A lawyer who admitted laundering millions of dollars for the Comancheros gang has been jailed. 

Andrew Simpson, 42, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of money laundering in 2019.

His arrest came after a series of raids across Auckland in April last year, which saw more than $3.7 million in assets seized following a year-long investigation. Assets included properties, luxury vehicles, $60,000 in cash, weapons and ammunition. 

During his sentencing at the High Court in Auckland on Tuesday, Justice van Bohemen said Simpson played a crucial role in the laundering scheme, which the gang used to import Class A and Class B drugs.

"You knew what you were doing was dodgy," Justice van Bohemen said.

Simpson's lawyer Guyon Foley told the court his client was known as a "good" and "honest" lawyer but was extremely trusting. Foley said his client now accepts what he did was wrong. 

Simpson - a father of five young children - was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

Comancheros' vice-president Tyson Daniels was also sentenced on Tuesday to four years and eight months behind bars. 

He earlier pleaded guilty to participating in an organised crime group and nine counts of money laundering. 

Justice van Bohemen said Tyson took overarching responsibility of the "sophisticated" operation and received "significant" personal benefit, including purchasing luxury vehicles.

Six others will go on trial later this year for charges relating to the raids. 

In a statement last year following Simpson's arrest, national manager of the Financial Crime Group Iain Chapman said: "I want to make it really clear that if you, in your professional capacity, choose to enable an organised crime group to flourish through laundering of their funds, you can expect full and robust attention from police."