Ex-Vic lawyer 'gutted' about loss of job

Former lawyer John Anile has admitted laundering $400,000 through a Melbourne property purchase.
Former lawyer John Anile has admitted laundering $400,000 through a Melbourne property purchase.

Law was the love of John Anile's life until the solicitor's money-laundering antics caught up with him.

The Melbourne man has returned to court but not the bar table, after admitting to laundering $400,000 through a property purchase in the mid-1990s.

Anile, now 60, was also a property developer at the time he handed over cash under the table to help buy the $950,000 Williamstown block.

But law was "the love of his life" alongside his family, defence lawyer David Brustman QC told Victoria's County Court on Monday.

He added Anile had spent a great deal of time providing free community legal advice and his public fall from grace was a "profound punishment" in its own right.

Anile was first jailed over the Williamstown property purchase in 2017 before a retrial was ordered.

He pleaded guilty to money laundering between August 1994 and 1995, three days into the new trial earlier this year.

Mr Brustman doesn't think his client, now on bail, should go back to prison after having already served 432 days.

"He has done enough of it," the lawyer said, adding jail had been "horrendous" for Anile's health.

Prosecutor Damien Hannan doesn't think Anile has spent enough time behind bars and says the man's former life as a solicitor means he would have understood more than most the repercussions of money laundering.

"He practiced in criminal law ... he must have been aware this activity was serious," Mr Hannan said.

It came after Mr Brustman said the offence of money laundering had been a "novel one" around the time of the offence.

A long-time friend of Anile's, barrister Jamie Singh, told the court his mate was "gutted" he could no longer practice law.

"He lived to be somebody who was needed ... somebody whose confidence could be relied upon," Mr Singh said while giving evidence on Anile's behalf.

Anile will be sentenced at a date to be fixed.

Australian Associated Press