Two men who defrauded elderly victims by performing no or substandard work laying driveways have been ordered to repay more than £320,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

Riley Smith, 44, of Harrisons Walk, Kettering (Northamptonshire) and William Gaskin, 43, of Rose View Drive, Holbeach (Lincolnshire) were convicted in 2019 and sentenced to 45 months in prison for Conspiracy to defraud.

Proceedings were brought by North Yorkshire Trading Standards with The North East Regional Economic Crime Unit (RECU) undertaking a confiscation investigation against the two.

At Teesside Crown Court yesterday (Monday 19 October) they were ordered to repay a total of £312,116.92, with three identified victims being repaid in full (£89,321.47)

Smith was ordered to pay £112.081.78 and Gaskin £200,035.14. They have three months to pay the money or face additional consecutive sentences of 18 months and 2 years respectively.

The court heard Smith’s total benefit was £1.9m and Gaskin’s £790,075.29. If either are found to have further assets at a later date they could also be taken from them.

The debt will never go away until repaid in full.

The court heard how the pair would target elderly victims, offering to lay driveways but would then perform substandard work or, in some cases, no work at all.

They would, however, charge vastly inflated prices with some victim repeatedly targeted.

Speaking after the hearing DI Mick Ryan, of the RECU said;

“This result is due to the close working relationship the Regional Economic Crime Unit has with our Trading Standard partners who secured these convictions. These rogue traders deliberately targeted the elderly and vulnerable, often leaving their victims in significant financial difficulties. I am pleased that the careful work carried out by my investigators has ensured that in the majority of cases the victims will be fully compensated.  This should serve as a strong deterrent to those who target senior citizens, as this case sends out a message that you will be prosecuted and we are committed to removing any financial gain from such appalling crimes.”