Money Laundering for a Gang of Timeshare
Two Norwich men who are said to have netted almost £150,000 after money laundering for a gang of timeshare fraudsters have been ordered to pay back just £10 each.
James Andrew Barrass, 38, and Alan Frank Sharp, 66, had allowed their businesses to be used to take payments from the victims.
The 'calculated and cynical' frauds were committed between 2012 and 2015 from offices in Norwich, and later in Redditch and Bromsgrove, and took more than £800,000 from unsuspecting timeshare owners.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court last week confiscation orders the Proceeds of Crime Act were made against the fraudsters.
Barrass, of Manby Road, Norwich, was said to have gained a benefit of £69,350 from the fraud, but financial inquiries showed he had no realisable assets and a confiscation order was made in a nominal sum of just £10.
A nominal £10 payment was also made against Sharp, of Constitutional Hill, Norwich, whose benefit was said to have been around £79,000.
In February last year at Stafford Crown Court Barrass was jailed for two years and Sharp was given eight months, suspended for a year.
Both men had admitted money laundering offences by fraudulently facilitating the control of criminal monies.
At the heart of the conspiracy was Brian Carr who had initially rented offices at Cavell House in Norwich in 2012.
Judge Jonathan Gosling ruled that Carr's benefit from the scam was around £830,000, but his assets were limited and made a confiscation order in the sum of £85,300.
Carr, 32, who was jailed for six years and eight months, had set up telephone and merchant chip and pin payment facilities, opened numerous bank accounts and produced letterheadings in the names of the 'convincing sounding' companies using false details.
Initially he arranged for Barrass to provide card payment machine facilities through his shop-front painting business, Bullwell Services, to collect the 'fees' paid by the victims for which Barrass took a 20% cut.
When Barrass' business lost the chip and pin card facility, Carr had then turned to Sharp to provide the same service through his furniture supply business, called Pro-Bio Markets Ltd, also in Norwich.