Seven men have been sentenced to a total of 39 and a half years imprisonment for carrying out an £8m investment fraud in a Spanish boiler room operation.
The men were sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday for their part in an operation involving the selling of shares in bio-diesel company Worldwide Bio Refineries Ltd (WBR).
Following a trial, six defendants were convicted by the jury on September 12 and another pleaded guilty at the start of the trial in June.
Dennis Potter of Singapore (DOB 02/04/39) and Redmond "Ray" Charles Johnson of Tyne and Wear (DOB 19/09/44) were the directors of WBR.
Potter was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and Johnson - who pleaded guilty under a SOCPA arrangement - was sentenced to three years imprisonment.
They were also both disqualified from acting as company directors for 12 years.
The remaining five defendants were boiler room operatives and their sentences were as follows:
• Steven John Murphy (DOB 13/02/76) was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
• Greg Pearson (DOB 26/08/73) was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
• Paul Daniel Murphy (DOB 28/09/73) was sentenced to six years imprisonment.
• Lee Eliot Homan (DOB 02/07/72) was sentenced to five years and six months imprisonment.
• Peter Bibby (DOB 01/09/67) of south London absconded and was tried and sentenced in absentia to six years imprisonment. There is a court issued warrant for his arrest.
All five boiler room operatives were also disqualified from being company directors for six years.
"This was a well planned, sophisticated, and well executed fraud dressed up in the language of legitimate business," said HHJ Overbury. "It involved deliberate targeting of a particular group of investors. The directors actions amount to a breach of trust of the investors. They had a long lasting effect on the victims who lost their savings."
This case was prosecuted by the Serious Fraud office in conjunction with Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies.
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