The Confiscation Order for £136,238 was made in January at Southwark Crown Court and required the convicted man, Ross Peters, to pay up by April. So far he has only paid £20,869 of the total. The further punishment will add over a year to his original five and half year prison sentence.
The FCA added that even after having served the sentence in default of payment, Mr Peters will continue to be liable for the outstanding debt and the interest accrued.
Mark Steward, director of enforcement and market oversight, said: “Confiscation orders cannot be ignored and will be enforced to ensure wrongdoers are held to account and their victims compensated as far as possible.”
All of the money recovered from Mr Peters and his co-defendants is being used to compensate the victims of his crimes. In April, Mr Ross Peters was also committed to prison for six months for breaching the terms of his restraint order by, among other things, dissipating over £237,000 from bank accounts and disposing of Rolex watches and two racehorses.
In May the FCA secured confiscation orders against a group of eight defendants connected to the scam, totalling almost £2.2 million. The Central Criminal Court made the confiscation orders against two final defendants who were convicted of offences following one of the FCA’s largest investigations into unauthorised activity.
The FCA’s investigation, known as Operation Cotton, led to eight convictions and orders meant a total of £2,195,496 will be confiscated from all eight defendants. The eight defendants were Scott Crawley, Brendan Daley, Daniel Forsyth, Adam Hawkins, Ricky Mitchie, Ross Peters, Aaron Petrou and Dale Walker.
At the case, His Honour Judge Leonard QC directed that all sums confiscated from the defendants be paid by way of compensation to the victims who lost money. Those who suffered a quantifiable loss should expect to receive just over 40% of the capital amount owed to them.
Between July 2008 and November 2011, an unauthorised collective investment scheme was operated through three companies: Plott Investments Ltd (which changed its name to Plott UK Ltd), European Property Investments (UK) Ltd and Stirling Alexander Ltd.
Salesmen for the companies cold-called potential investors to sell them agricultural land that the companies had bought for minimal amounts, as well as land the companies did not own. More than £5 million was ‘extracted’ from investors to buy land at a vastly inflated price on the false promise of a substantial profit which never materialised.
Scott Crawley and the salesmen who worked with him were assisted by Dale Walker, a conveyancing solicitor who received hundreds of thousands of pounds into his accounts.