Seven more people were sentenced at Swindon Crown Court yesterday, 12 July 2018, for their part in a large money laundering conspiracy.
This follows on from the sentencing of seven others on 4 June 2018 involved in the same case; between August 2014 and September 2015 the main offender, Aaron Kennett, 28, an employee of JB Global Ltd (trading as Oak Furnitureland) of Avening Street, Swindon fraudulently issued refunds via bank cards.
Effectively issuing ‘free money’ Kennett typed friends and associates bank details into a card machine in order to provide a refund which was not due and did not match any sales record.
A meticulous investigation with JB Global uncovered the extent of the fraud totalling £213,447.17. Enquiries into phone records and bank transactions revealed links between Kennett and his associates; photos were discovered of members of the group enjoying holidays worldwide paid for with the stolen money while others used it for expenditure and to fund gambling habits.
34 people, all from Swindon, were arrested or summonsed in connection with the conspiracy. Nine people were released with no further action, five were given cautions and six others were dealt with at Magistrates court and were issued with suspended sentences, fines and community orders.
Kennett was charged with Fraud by abuse of position and Conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer criminal property (Conspiracy to money laundering) he pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison on 4 June 2018.
Six others were also sentenced on the same day.
The following were charged with conspiracy to money laundering and were sentenced at Swindon Crown Court:
Lewis Turner (25) from Castle View Road, Chiseldon – money laundering and possession with intent to supply class A drugs - 2.5 years imprisonment and surcharge of £170.
Nina Turner (50) from Castle View Road, Chiseldon - 12 month community order, 20 days rehabilitation, £140 surcharge.
Mark Melhado (51) from Isambard Way, Swindon - 16 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 40 hours unpaid work, 20 days rehabilitation. Surcharge £120.
Marcel Douglas (28) from York Road – 10 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 100 hrs unpaid work and £1200 compensation.
Liam Porteous (28) from Thurney Drive, Swindon – 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 100 hours unpaid work, £140 surcharge.
Robert Porteous (54) from Crawford Close, Swindon – Community order 12 months. 100 hours unpaid work. £400 compensation.
Marvin Porteous (32) from Beaulieu Close, Swindon – 14 months imprisonment suspended for two years, 100 hours unpaid work, £140 surcharge.
DC Bev Mobey said: “This is the conclusion of a long, complicated case and I am pleased that the remaining seven in this case have been dealt with.
"Thanks to strong collaborative work between us, Oak Furnitureland and Barclaycard we have been able to put together overwhelming evidence of their guilt and bring all 14 before the courts.
"I hope this acts as a deterrent for anyone who may consider this course of action in the future.”
A spokesperson from Barclaycard said: “Protecting our customers' money is our top priority and we have a zero tolerance approach to fraud.
"As in this case, we continue to provide every assistance to the local police to enable them to prosecute suspected fraudsters.”