Twin brothers who ran a property scam from an office in Scarborough have been ordered to pay more than £300,000 in compensation to victims after confiscation orders were made against the pair.
Paul Aspden and Peter Aspden, both 55, were jailed for 42 months and 10 months respectively, in July 2014 following an investigation by North Yorkshire Police in to an international property fraud.
Following their convictions, the North East Regional Asset Recovery Team started an investigation to establish how much the brothers had profited from their crimes and to launch confiscation proceedings.
At Leeds Crown Court today HHJ Jameson QC declared that the brothers had jointly benefited from their crimes to a value of £4,583,445.84.
Paul Aspen was found to have benefited from his crimes to the total of £2,919,461.96. Enquiries established that he has available assets valued at £130,418.48 which were to be paid as compensation to the victims.
Peter Aspen was found to have benefited from his crimes to the total of £1,663,983.88. Enquiries established that he has available assets of £170,156.03 which were to be paid as compensation to the victims.
Both men have been given three months to pay back their available assets or face an extra three years in prison. They will owe the remaining £4,282,871.33 for the rest of their lives, meaning that should they ever obtain future financial assets these could be seized from them as part of the confiscation.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon from 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, said:
“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.”