And a book-keeper who also helped hide "dirty money" was sent to prison for two-and-a-half years yesterday. The total, a court heard, was £1.8 million.
Both had helped hide from the authorities money raked in by the activities of Michael Voudouri, 45, who cheated the tax man out of £10m by claiming VAT on bogus transactions.
Voudouri, 45, of Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, admitted spiriting away the proceeds of so-called "carousel fraud" into bank accounts in Cyprus, Greece and Switzerland.
He should have appeared for sentencing when his associates, solicitor Richard Housley, 57, and book-keeper Caroline Laing, 55, were convicted at the end of a three-month trial.
However, judge Lord Tyre heard Voudouri had jumped bail and efforts to trace him had failed. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard yesterday that Housley's legal career had been in ruins since his home was raided by tax inspectors in 2007 and he will never work again as a solicitor.
Defence advocate Michael Moir said Housley had even failed to acquire a licence to work as a taxi driver.
Jailing him, judge Lord Tyre told Housley, of Edinburgh, that solicitors should be gate-keepers to prevent money laundering and act with honesty and integrity.
He said: "They are trusted to do so by the law enforcement agencies and by their fellow lawyers. You have fallen short of the standard required of a member of the legal profession."
Housley had been found guilty of a breach of the Proceeds of Crime Act, failing to notify the authorities of his suspicions and fraudulently obtaining more than £56,000 by falsely claiming his wife was working for his Bathgate-based law firm, Paul Gebal and Co.
Laing of Denny, Stirlingshire, had allowed her personal bank account to be used in the money laundering, the trial heard. Lord Tyre told her: "At your trial you gave evidence that you were an unwitting victim of Michael Voudouri's dishonesty. Clearly the jury did not accept that."
The court heard Laing – who suffered a heart attack while awaiting trial – had health problems and responsibility for looking after her elderly mother. Solicitor advocate George Pollock, defending, also produced testimonials.
But Lord Tyre concluded there was no alternative to a prison sentence.
He told Housley that because of the length of time – from February 2003 to February 2005 – and the amount of money involved, he must go to prison.
The trial heard that at the centre of the scams was Voudouri's company Q Tech Distribution, which was instrumental in the VAT frauds.
Money that should have been paid to the Government was switched between different companies and bank accounts and used to buy properties.
Housley was invited by Voudouri to join one of the businesses used as a front – a clothing firm, Labarito. He was to get £25,000 a year as a director. Laing was given a post as the firm's secretary.
Ironically, Housley was also in charge of his law firm's cash room and for preventing money laundering.
In 2004, Voudouri was jailed for four years for a £3.5m VAT fraud. His latest fraud was alleged to involve laundering a total of £48.2m but his guilty plea to a lesser sum of £10.3m was accepted.
He also admitted hiding £1.2m gained from crime while serving a sentence in Glenochil Prison.