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Conman, 60, told to repay victim of fraud £125,000

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A convicted fraudster has been ordered by a court to pay back the £125,000 he swindled from his victim.

The order was made against Riley Smith (60), from Sapcote, who was given a two-year prison sentence in October for an offence of fraud by false representation.

Although Smith had no bank account, police were helped to track down his assets by Blaby District Council's planning department, which discovered he owned five plots of land in the district, worth £700,000.

Smith, of Castlewood Mobile Home Park, Hinckley Road, pleaded guilty to defrauding a woman into exchanging her bricks and mortar home in Holbrooks, Coventry, for a mobile home and plot of land on a site known as The Poppies, in Mile End Lane, Coventry Road, Bulkington.

Birmingham Crown Court heard he duped her into believing the mobile home was worth £135,000 when it was only worth £37,000.

Smith also failed to disclose that planning restrictions banned anyone other than close members of his family from living on The Poppies site.

The deception was discovered when the victim tried to sell her mobile home on becoming disillusioned with both the site and the defendant's broken promises in relation to improvements which were never carried out.

Consequently, she found herself in a mobile home she was not entitled to occupy and unable to sell on the open market.

At the confiscation hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, Smith accepted he had benefited from his crime to the value of £125,000 and had sufficient assets to pay that amount.

He was ordered to pay the full sum within three months or serve a two-year prison sentence in default.

In making the order, Judge Mr Recorder Patrick Upward QC directed that, once paid, the money should be used to fully compensate Smith's victim.

Bob Turner, from the Warwickshire police financial investigation unit, said: "I am grateful to Andrew Etherington, Blaby District Council's senior planning enforcement officer, for his assistance.

"It is particularly satisfying that in this case we were able to use the Proceeds of Crime Act to its full effect.

"This result is an excellent example of how Warwickshire police will pursue all possible avenues to strip convicted criminals of their assets."


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