A CONVICTED fraudster from Aldford, near Chester, has been ordered to pay back an extra £1.7m of his ill-gotten gains after shares he owned increased by more than 600%.
Duncan Adamson, 52, had originally been ordered to pay back £1.3m when he was jailed for 30 months in 2008.
Adamson, a property developer, was found guilty of a string of frauds involving companies he set up and transactions involving foreign currencies.
The judge who jailed him found Adamson had benefited to the tune of £3m from his offending and identified assets worth £1.3m, including £221,000 in shares.
However, Adamson failed to pay the £1.3m back within the time limit set by the court and eventually served a five-year sentence for defaulting, for which he has since been released.
An investigation by a specialist team of officers within Titan, the North West’s regional organised crime unit, along with expert Crown Prosecution Service lawyers, forensic accountants and HM Courts and Tribunals Service staff, spotted that Adamson’s £221,000 shares had greatly increased in value.
They were sold recently for £1.725m and at Liverpool Crown Court, Titan succeeded in getting an ‘uplift’ to the original confiscation order, where the judge raised it from £1.3m to £3m.
The millions will be reinvested into law enforcement agencies tackling serious and organised crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Paula Parker, from Titan’s regional asset recovery team, said: “It is staggering that Adamson’s shares have increased by such a value but absolutely right that he does not benefit from this in any way.
“He used the proceeds of his frauds to launder his money by investing in shares, money that was not his and belonged to other people.
“When Adamson was brought to Titan’s attention, a great deal of work was done to unpick his finances so that everything he could pay back, was paid back.
“We were delighted to find his shares had increased by so much money and even more pleased to succeed in asking the court to increase the confiscation order from £1.3m to £3m.
“It just goes to show how proceeds of crime legislation can be used by different agencies with different areas of expertise to ensure criminals do not benefit financially from their crimes.”