Margaret Paterson, 65, was dubbed ‘Madam Moneybags’ after using cash from her sex-for-sale empire in Edinburgh to buy exclusive handbags and luxury goods
A brothel owner dubbed ‘Madam Moneybags’ is trying to overturn her conviction with taxpayer cash.
Margaret Paterson, 65, is trying to get legal aid to help fund her appeal against her conviction.
Paterson was jailed in July 2013 for five years for running a lucrative brothel and escort business worth £1 million in Edinburgh.
Paterson enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and earned her nickname with her love of designer handbags.
The pensioner was bankrolled by her sex-for-cash empire, splashing out nearly £500,000 on designer goods.
Now, Paterson wants the Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC) to back her in her appeal.
The SCCRC has previously refused to refer her appeal for judges to consider.
But Paterson now wants a judicial review of that decision so her name can be cleared.
The case was considered at the Court in Session in Edinburgh by Lord Boyd who agreed to a motion for an eight-week delay in proceedings.
The delay is to allow Paterson to seek the legal aid she needs to pay her team of lawyers.
High-value goods from Paterson’s lavish lifestyle were found at her home following the police raid in September 2011
An earlier appeal from the brothel owner was rejected by the Court of Criminal in 2014.
Paterson also still owes around £780,000 out of the £1 million that was confiscated from her in May 2015.
Despite being given six months to repay the money, she has still failed to pay the majority of it and is now seeking the legal aid.
Paterson lived the high life from the she received at brothel on Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh.
The girls working at the brothel considered Paterson, who grew up on a farm in Midlothian, to be the boss.
She is now trying to get legal aid to help fund her appeal against her conviction
Her former lover, Robert Munro, was her second in command and was also jailed in 2013.
According to reports, Paterson was known to give the prostitutes advice on which clients wanted to be dominant and which were submissive.
Police discovered that Paterson and Munro ran prostitutes in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Glasgow and Aberdeen from their flat in New Town for nine years, with 65 vice girls on their books.
Up to eight women a night worked from Grosvenor Street, being sent out to meet clients at homes and hotel rooms.
Men also visited the basement flat on ‘in-calls’ to choose a prostitute and pay for sex in one of its two bedrooms.
The brothel was raided by police in September 2011.
Detectives spent two days searching her home, also in Grosvenor Street, to sift through piles of clothes and handbags, many of them unworn and in original wrapping.
£204,660 in cash was found being kept in bags and a safe.
As well as bags of designer clothes and jewellry, police found £204,660 at the brothel owner’s home address
Jewellery including a £4320 Versace watch and two rings worth £1400 each were found still in boxes.
Officers also discovered mobile phones which men used to ring and book sessions with the prostitutes, with more than 1000 texts from clients found stored on the devices.
A court previously heard Paterson’s assets included a property portfolio in Edinburgh and bank accounts.