James Kinloch was found guilty of money laundering in 2010, but appealed claiming police officers had violated his right to a private life by covertly observing him as he was in the course of committing the offences.
His lawyers argued evidence gathered by the police through surveillance should not have been introduced at his trial as it was inadmissible under the Human Rights Act.
Kinloch was watched by officers for about three and a half hours one morning as he made his way through Glasgow. He was seen leaving his car and entering the block of flats where he lived, then leaving the flats carrying a bag and entering a car, which drove off.
Police officers later detained Kinloch and his brother when they were in a taxi. Large sums of money were recovered in a bag.
The High Court of Justiciary in Scotland threw out a bid to have the conviction overturned, but an appeal was heard at the Supreme Court in London.
However, a panel of judges rejected the appeal for the final time. In his judgment, Lord Reed said: "The criminal nature of what he was doing, if that was what it was found to be, was not an aspect of his private life that he was entitled to keep private."