An Edinburgh brothel boss locked up after earning huge sums of cash from prostitution has been awarded public money to fund a court appeal.
In 2013 Margaret Paterson was handed a five-year sentence for brothel-keeping, money laundering and making a living from prostitution.
Over a period of nine years Paterson and former partner Robert Munro provided sex workers all over the country and laundered at least £1.2 million in cash.
Considered two of Scotland’s richest criminals, the pair operated from premises in the Capital’s Grosvenor Street, employing 65 vice girls over the years.
The New Town property was raided in September 2011, with cash totalling £204,660 and a number of high value items seized by police.
Paterson received the nickname Madam Moneybags after it emerged she had amassed a collection of luxury clothes, shoe wear and other designer gear worth around £500,000.
A confiscation order of £1 million was enforced on Paterson in May 2015, of which £780,440 is still outstanding.
Now it has been reported that the 65-year-old is to receive legal aid as she bids to continue her court fight to overturn her conviction.
The legal aid bill could cost taxpayers up to £30,000, the Daily Record today reported.
A spokesman for the Scottish Legal Aid Board said: “A legal aid application can only be granted if someone meets financial tests set by the Scottish Parliament and their lawyer shows there are strong legal arguments to back up their case.
“They may also have to contribute to the cost of their case.”
Paterson’s plea to have her case considered for appeal was previously refused by the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission.
In January Judge Lord Boyd agreed to an eight-week delay in proceedings to allow the application for legal aid to be processed.
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