In the following press release North Wales Police announced that a Towyn man has been ordered to pay nearly £1million in relation to mortgage fraud and money laundering offences. Last week at Mold Crown Court, a Confiscation Order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The court found that James Andrew Barnes of Towyn Way West, Towyn, Abergele had assets totalling £46,347.89p and a Confiscation Order in this amount was made against him. The Court found that Barnes had benefited from his crimes to a total of £973,425.19p.
In October 2008, 26-year-old Barnes was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment at Mold Crown Court, after he pleaded guilty to six counts of mortgage fraud and money laundering.
In May 2007 North Wales Police stopped and searched Barnes, who was driving his Chrysler 300 motorcar. Barnes was arrested following the discovery of £4,500 in cash. Both the cash and the car were seized from him.
A POCA investigation by North Wales Police, involving extensive financial enquiries into his finances, revealed that Barnes had benefited by almost £1million by fraudulently obtaining mortgages and then using the cash raised from this to fund further property purchases in Rhyl, Kinmel Bay and Widnes, Cheshire.
HHJ Philip Hughes made the confiscation order on Thursday 26 March and it was accepted by the courts that given the current financial climate Barnes may need time to sell his properties in order to pay. Barnes was given six months to pay the sum of £46,347.89p or face a further 16 months in prison if he fails to do so.
Chief Supt Simon Humphreys commented: “This is another example of how North Wales Police will actively pursue criminals and will use the powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act to strip offenders of any property, including their homes, cars and cash that they possess.”
Barnes assets include a number of properties in the Denbighshire area, a 2005 Chrysler 300 motor vehicle originally purchased for £24,000, £4,500 cash seized by police and in the region of £10,000 held in bank accounts.
Should Barnes fail to pay the order he will be returned to prison and serve an additional 16 months imprisonment.