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Fraudsters ordered to pay back over £370,000 after "rare earth metal" scam

Fraudsters ordered to pay back over £370,000 after "rare earth metal" scam

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 27th July 2019.

Five fraudsters who were part of a ring selling worthless investments in rare earth metals have been ordered to pay back over £370,000.

Following their convictions, a financial investigator from Surrey Police sought confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act against the group which were granted at a hearing at Kingston Crown Court earlier this month.

They were ordered to repay a total of £370,634.80 which had been identified in assets.

The five men were all jailed for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in November 2018 for their part in an organised crime group, which groomed at least 24 elderly victims, convincing them to pay in to bogus investment opportunities.

Surrey Police started investigating the company in 2013, after one of the victims, a woman in her 80s from Woking, asked her bank manager to help her transfer £100,000 to the fraudsters. The bank manager became suspicious and contacted police.

The fraudsters set up a company ‘The Commodities Link’ which appeared legitimate with offices in Canary Wharf, glossy brochures and slick marketing videos. They boasted of celebrity links, and would send cars to collect high value victims and take them out for meals.

In fact it was all a façade – the Canary Wharf offices were serviced offices and mailboxes, the claims in the glossy brochures and slick videos were fake.

  • Gennaro Fiorentino, age 39, of Wetherall Road, Hackney was ordered to repay £130,614.80
  • Daniel Flood, age 40 , of High Elms Lane, Stevenage was ordered to repay 190,000.00
  • Mark Whitehead, age 60, of Thetford Road, Bury St Edmunds was ordered to repay £50,000
  • Paul Muldoon, age 35 C/O Pin Mill, Basildon was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £10 as he does not currently have any assets. In this case, if in future he comes into money or Surrey Police identifies assets belonging to him, we will pursue him for these.
  • Jonathan Docker, age 33 of Charlesworth Court, Chigwell was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £10

Detective Inspector Matt Durkin said:

"These people destroyed their victims’ lives without a second thought.

"They took life savings, left investors destitute and took away the confidence and independence of their elderly victims.

"They were professional criminals, essentially grooming the people they targeted over time, and thoroughly deserve to have each and every penny of their criminal gains that we’ve been able to identify taken from them.

"The confiscation orders granted in this case now means that the victims will be compensated in part for their losses."

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