Confiscation orders granted after fraud

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Confiscation orders have been granted against two men who were found guilty of conspiring together to commit fraud against clients and friends, following an investigation by the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit.

Chartered accountant Keith Fisher, aged 67, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, conspired together with businessman David Myers, aged 53, of Goldington Road, Bedford, between 1 January 2007 and 31 July 2009 to commit a series of offences.

On September 24, 2010 at Huntingdon Crown Court, Fisher was found guilty of ten counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of obtaining credit while an undischarged bankrupt and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Myers was found guilty of two counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and three counts of acquiring criminal property and was sentenced to five years imprisonment.

Thames Valley Police was initially contacted following an allegation made by a man that his accountant, Fisher, had stolen over £300,000 from him by defrauding him. Fisher was a chartered accountant who at the time of the offences was practising as the senior partner of a company based in Stony Stratford. He had practised there for over 10 years.

Myers described himself as a businessman, although the investigation revealed that he had no legitimate sources of income and had previous convictions for fraud. Together they obtained funds from various clients, friends and associates.

As part of the operation, the Economic Crime Unit (ECU) conducted a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act into the two defendants.

On 1 and 2 March at Peterborough Crown Court, confiscation orders were granted against the two defendants. Fisher’s benefit from crime was determined as £498,729, and he was ordered to pay a nominal amount.

Myers’ benefit from crime was determined as £187,420 and he was ordered to pay £165,000 from hidden assets. If the order is not satisfied within six months then he will face a further 18 months imprisonment and still be required to pay the amount in full.

Detective Inspector Gavin Tyrrell, of the ECU, said: “This is another example of teams working together to achieve a great result. We will continue to use all legislative opportunities to remove the profit from crime and make our communities safer.”