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Fraudsters ordered to give victims compensation

Fraudsters ordered to give victims compensation

Published at 11:18am 16th December 2015. (Updated at 5:40pm 16th December 2015)

Twin brothers jailed after a fraud investigation by North Yorkshire Police have been told to pay more than £300,000 in compensation to their victims.

Paul and Peter Aspden, both 55, were sentenced to 42 months and 10 months respectively for running an international property fraud.

Following their convictions, the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team started an investigation to establish how much they had profited from their crimes and to launch confiscation proceedings.

At Leeds Crown Court, Judge Jameson QC ruled that the brothers had jointly benefited from their crimes to a value of £4,583,445.84.

Both men have been given three months to pay back their available assets or face another three years in prison.

They will owe the remaining £4,282,871.33 for the rest of their lives, meaning that if they ever obtain future financial assets, these could be seized from them.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, of North Yorkshire Police's Major Fraud and Economic Crime Unit, said: "The Aspden twins exploited numerous victims, conning them out of their hard-earned savings.

"This was a lengthy and complex international investigation and I praise the professionalism of North Yorkshire detectives who secured the original conviction.

"This judgement also highlights the importance of joint working between law enforcement partners, and I commend the hard work of the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team which resulted in this confiscation. It is satisfying that the Aspdens not only received custodial sentences, but they had their criminal assets taken from them.

"I hope this serves as a strong message to would-be criminals - not only will we investigate your crime and place you before a court, but we will also seize the assets of your criminality."

Detective Inspector Steve Hudson, of the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team, added: "Some of the pair's victims spent their life savings or re-mortgaged their homes to invest with the Aspdens and it is quite right that the money they have made off these crimes is paid back to the people hit the hardest by them.

"The money made from the sale of their assets, and any future assets, will be paid in compensation to numerous victims located throughout the UK.

"This should act as a warning to other criminals that if they're living off the proceeds of crime, they will be investigated, not only for their original offences, but also for where the profits of their crimes have gone."

Anyone concerned about potential fraudulent activity can get more information on the Financial Fraud Action UK website at www.financialfraudaction.org.uk

Confidential support and advice is also available from Citizens Advice on 08454 04 05 06 or via the website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk