Three men who defrauded more than 100 eBay customers have been ordered to pay back almost £72,000. This is in addition to having been jailed for their crimes last December.
Steven Curran, 37, Gary Gillam, 36 and Anthony Young, 36, all from Derbyshire, were jailed for three-and-a-half years each last December after admitting to their parts in the fraud. They had set up a fake distribution firm and used the website Gumtree to advertise vacancies within the company. When unsuspecting people applicants submitted their CVs, the men used the personal details of 11 of them to set up bank accounts, then created another 19 fake identities to commit the scam – opening eBay accounts to sell stolen goods. They encouraged customers to pay by bankers' draft for the fictitious items.
More than 100 eBay customers were duped, although officers believe there may be more instances that went unreported. A total of £79,527 had been paid into the gang's false bank accounts.
Repayments were ordered under the Proceeds of Crime Act at a hearing last week. Gillam, who had benefitted by £69,591, was ordered to pay the same sum in confiscation, from which £15,325 will be used as compensation for his victims. If he does not pay within six months, he faces a further 18 months in jail. Young netted £9,236 and he was told to pay back £487. He was given 28 days to make the payment, failure to do so which will result in a further 14 days' imprisonment. Curran, who was dealt with at a separate hearing in March, benefitted by £700 and was ordered to pay back £1.
Police found a further £1,030 in bank accounts during their investigation. None of the men admitted the money was theirs and it was taken from them at Friday’s hearing, which took place at Derby Crown Court.
Detective Superintendent Terry Branson of Derbyshire Constabulary, said: “These three conned numerous people, who paid them money for items they never received. I’m pleased that some of these victims will now be compensated thanks to this confiscation order. The Proceeds of Crime Act is an excellent piece of legislation which allows us to make sure that criminals are stripped of any wealth they have made illegally.”