Victim of impersonation fraud to be paid back £72,000

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The victim of a police impersonation fraud who lost £72,000 will be paid back in full after action taken by Lincolnshire Police.

The victim, who is in her 80s and at the time of the fraud was living in Wainfleet, suffered considerable emotional distress due to the theft. Conmen, pretending to be police officers from London, had tricked her into moving the cash into a complex series of accounts that they controlled.

Two men pleaded guilty and two others were found guilty of money laundering in June last year and were sentenced the following month.

Two men were found not to have any assets that could be used to pay back the sum and were given nominal Confiscation Orders. Another was ordered to pay £10,631.51 at a hearing two months ago. This represented, in part, the portion of the stolen monies received into his bank account.

The Force applied under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the money, at a hearing held on Friday (October 5) at Lincoln Crown Court.

Friday’s hearing involved Neil Percival. Lincolnshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) took action against Percival to recover the stolen money in order to compensate the victim. They then used the Proceeds of Crime Act to take a further amount from him, based on a belief he had also been involved in further crime.

A confiscation figure of £106,867.68 was agreed at court, with £61,357.82 being paid to the victim. Other money stolen from the victim was paid back after a previous hearing for one of the other defendants, and cash that the victim’s bank had managed to recover.

As well as the moneys to be returned to the victim, Percival also had to pay a total of £45,509.86 to be split between criminal justice agencies.

Percival was given until December 5 to pay the figure.

Jemima Cholmondeley-Smith, of the ECU, said: “This was a sickening fraud that robbed a woman of her life savings. Although these men had already been punished through the courts, we have further pursued them to recover the money that was taken from the victim.

“While this will not make up for the emotional distress caused, the victim will now reclaim money that is rightfully hers. This case demonstrates our determination to recover money obtained by criminal means and prove that crime does not pay.”