A former accountant who helped John Hirst swindle investors out of millions of pounds has been ordered to pay back more than £90,000 in compensation.
In August last year Hirst was jailed for nine years after funding a lavish lifestyle in Majorca through his £10m ‘Ponzi’ investment scheme.
His accounting accomplice, Richard Pollett, was also jailed for six-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
According to the Huddersfield Examiner, Pollett was recently brought back to Bradford Crown Court from prison so that a judge could make a confiscation order against him under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, agreed to make the confiscation order against Pollett on the basis that the money recovered would be used to pay some compensation to the victims of the fraud.
An investigation into his financial affairs resulted in a benefit figure from criminal conduct of £990,369, but the court heard he now only has available assets worth £90,714. The assets in Spain related to money from the sale of property and other items such as a car, a wrist watch and a timeshare.
The court heard that the money will have to be paid within three months or Pollett could face an additional 20 months behind bars.
Hirst and his former wife Linda, who was jailed for two-and-a-half years for money laundering, are will be back in court in December for their proceeds of crime hearing.
Between 2001 and 2009 Hirst and Pollett were involved in the operation of a Ponzi scheme trading as Gilher Inc where, instead of being used to achieve promised growth on the US stock market, investors’ money was diverted to support their own luxury lifestyles.
After several business ventures failed Hirst moved to Majorca with his wife and persuaded a number of ex-pats to hand over large sums for him to invest on the Dow Jones Index futures market with guaranteed returns of 18% per annum plus a bonus of 2%.
Overall investors handed over £10m into the scheme, but only got back £4.6m.
It also came out that Hirst had previously been jailed for a similar fraud committed in the early 1990s after he conned Yorkshire miners out of their redundancy payments.