55-year-olds, Paul Aspden of Lytham St Annes and his twin brother Peter Aspden of Millport, Isle of Cumbrae, appeared at Leeds Crown Court on 8th December 2015 where a Proceeds of Crime Confiscation Order was made against them.
Both men appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Monday 7 July 2014 and were jailed for 42 months and 10 months respectively at which point confiscation proceedings were started against them.
The brothers were co-directors of a company called Independent Property Consultants Limited (IPC) which sold off-plan, overseas properties to investors. The pair were each charged with fraudulent trading in Bulgaria and fraudulent trading in Cape Verde.
The victims were ordinary people who wanted to buy a second home abroad. Some wanted to make a financial gain on their investment, others wanted to rent it out to others and some simply wanted to fulfil their dream of buying a holiday home abroad.
The investors lost varying amounts of money of between €23,000 (approximately £18,000) and €140,000 (approximately £110,000)
The customers believed they had invested in properties at three sites on the Black Sea coast in Bulgaria, four separate developments in Bansko, Bulgaria and one development in Santa Maria in Cape Verde Islands.
However, the brothers used their client's cash to repay business and personal bank overdrafts, travel, personal shopping and also transferred money to other family members.
On 8th December 2015 HHJ Jameson QC, following a confiscation investigation conducted by the North East Regional Asset Recovery made a confiscation order against Paul Aspden declaring his Benefit from Crime to be £2,909,461.93 with an Available amount of £130,418.48 which is made up of a private registration plate worth £7,000, cash in a bank account and the remainder from his pensions.
An order was made against Peter Aspden declaring his benefit from crime to be £1,663,983.88 with an available amount of £170,150.03 which was made up of 50% equity in a property which totals £37,140.00 the remained made up from his pension plans.
The defendants are required to pay the order within three months or face a prison sentence of upto 3 years.
All the monies recovered from the defendants are to be paid to the 61 victims as compensation from their loss.