Issued by North Yorkshire Police
Four men who were part of an organised crime group which defrauded the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in York of £1.28m have been jailed for a total of more than eight years.
Robert Cann, 70, of Altrincham was jailed for 15 months, Paul Tinsley, 37, of Stoke on Trent was jailed for two years and two months, Paul Edwards, 30, of Newcastle-under-Lyme was jailed for three years and three months, and Thomas Cottam, 54, of Deganwy, Conwy, was given a 21-month jail term.
Their three co-defendants are due to be sentenced at a later date**
On sentencing at Leeds Crown Court on Thursday 8 August 2013, Detective Inspector Ian Wills of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “This was a sophisticated attack on the DEFRA payments system. The proceeds funded the purchase of high-end luxury cars and £830,000 worth of gold.
“The four men sentenced today were not the controlling minds behind the fraud but they each played their role in the conspiracy to launder £1.28m of public money.
“I am pleased with the sentences handed down today, which reflect how serious the criminal justice system takes this type of crime.
“We now look forward to the next round of sentencing and the future confiscation hearings under the Proceeds of Crime Act. I would like to pay particular tribute to the skills of my investigation team and also thank officers from the Staffordshire Police Economic Crime Unit who provided invaluable assistance.”
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