Two convicted fraudsters from Warrington who made almost £300,000 through an elaborate payroll scam have been ordered to repay their ill-gotten gains.
Jason Brown, of Worcester Close, Great Sankey, and Norman King, of Nanseen Close, Great Sankey, both pleaded guilty to multiple fraud offences in 2017 following an investigation by Cheshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit.
The investigation into 46-year-old Brown and 50-year-old King began in November 2013 when three Warrington-based recruitment agencies based reported that they had fallen victim to a payroll scam.
The businesses had suffered losses in excess of £225,000 and all three named King and Brown as being responsible.
They reported how the pair had made false representations, claiming that they were managing directors of companies to which they had no association and then utilising the firms’ credit ratings to provide credit facilities.
King and Brown registered a number of fake employees with the recruitment agencies using stolen ID documents and submitted fraudulent timesheets in order to claim wages in excess of £225,000.
Following the initial allegations, an investigation was launched by Detective Constable Paul Myatt, of Cheshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit.
The investigation involved more than 100 witnesses and revealed that a total of 21 other companies from across the UK had fallen victim to the scam.
As a result of the investigation by DC Myatt, Brown and King were both charged with multiple counts of fraud.
The pair stole a total £295,681.97.
They were subsequently jailed after they pleaded guilty to the charges, with Brown sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and King jailed for two years and three months.
However, the investigation did not stop there and the pair were called back to Chester Crown Court on Monday 5 August for a Proceeds of Crime hearing.
During the hearing the judge determined that Brown and King had earned more than £2 million through their criminal activities, including the Cheshire cases.
After hearing all the evidence, and assessing their wealth, the judge ordered the pair to pay back £140,000.
Brown and King have to pay back £80,000 and £60,000 respectively.
If they do not repay the money within three months they face further time behind bars.
The money will be used to help compensate their victims.
The remaining debt will stay with Brown and King for the rest of their lives, and should they come into money in the future it will have to be given to the victims as well until they have been repaid in full.
Following the hearing, DC Myatt said: “Brown and King embarked on a crime spree, becoming wealthy men through defrauding victims across the UK.
“They showed no regard for the harm they caused to their victims, putting the livelihoods of a number of decent, hard working people at risk and even nearly bankrupting two of the companies.
“Although it was satisfying to bring the criminal case to conclusion, it is even more satisfying depriving Brown and King of their criminal assets and providing compensation to the victims in this case.
“I hope this spreads the message that crime really doesn’t pay and that any penalties invoked by the Proceeds of Crime Act will stay with offenders for life.”