City of London Police has seized £2.4m from six criminals who duped retired investors into buying into landbanking and carbon credit schemes as part of an £11m scam.
The police force says this is one of the biggest ever cash seizures for the City of London Police.
The six fraudsters – Matthew Noad, Clive Griston, Harry Neal, Kerry Golesworthy, Linda Noad and Roger Noad – have to pay £2.37m to the victims or face further jail time. Five of the six criminals are currently serving prison sentences.
Between 2005 and 2010 Matthew Noad and Griston ran a London-based boiler room, helped by Neal. More than £10m was taken from victims in a landbanking scam, where investors were sold plots for development which turned out to be worthless.
Despite being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering, the pair set up another boiler room to sell valueless carbon credits, taking in another £1m.
Many investors were well into retirement with no ability to recoup their losses.
In one case, a blind 89-year-old man from Cardiff paid £94,000 for plots of land in Dumbarton.
He was told the area was primed for development when it had been earmarked as greenbelt land by the local council.
City of London Police Asset Recover Team Detective Sergeant Mel Moody, says: “This confiscation hearing serves as a further warning to fraudsters that the work of the City of London Police does not stop with a successful prosecution, but instead marks the moment when we switch our focus to seizing all their assets.”