The City of London Police has seized £2.4 million from six people convicted for running carbon credit and land investment scams, it said on Wednesday, adding that the gang could face more jail time if their victims are not repaid.
Matthew Noad and Clive Griston were last year found by a UK court to have headed a gang that conned more than 200 vulnerable investors out of £10 million, in part through high-pressure tactics to sell them illiquid credits with the promise of jumbo returns.
The pair, along with an accomplice, Griston’s partner, and Noad’s father – a former banker at Coutts, the Queen’s bank – were jailed for a combined 18 years and nine months for fraud and money laundering offences, with Noad’s mother sentenced to a two-year custodial sentence suspended for two years.
Awaiting trial for running a land investment scam over which they were arrested in 2010, and with their passports seized and bank accounts frozen, the two men set up Capital Carbon Credits while on bail, the police said, and targeted some of the investors they had previously defrauded.
They were arrested again in Sep. 2012.
The gang’s victims included a World War II veteran and a survivor of the Thalidomide drug, who invested his compensation settlement worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, and an 87-year old retired teacher who alone bought £87,000 in carbon credits.
The six spent the cash on multi-million pound mansions, luxury cars, expensive jewellery and lavish holidays before they were convicted.
“We are very pleased that our investigation has now concluded with this gang of investment fraudsters and money launderers being stripped of both their liberty and all the proceeds of their crime. We now look forward to returning the recovered funds to the rightful owners,” said Detective Sergeant Mel Moody, from the City of London Police Asset Recovery Team.
The two gang leaders were also banned from being a company director in the UK for 10 years.