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Home Breaking A man from Gravesend has been ordered to repay nearly £73,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act after defrauding ten people in a complex investment scam.

A man from Gravesend has been ordered to repay nearly £73,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act after defrauding ten people in a complex investment scam.

A man from Gravesend has been ordered to repay nearly £73,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act after defrauding ten people in a complex investment scam. Between 2014 and 2017, Lee Barnett, 36, of Tensing Avenue, Gravesend, and Ashley Hunte, 41, of Queensthorpe Road, London, committed a number of fraud and money laundering offences through a company called Britannia Direct Solutions (BDS). Barnett’s company persuaded victims to part with money on the promise that their investments would be safe in a London City Bond (LCB) account. An in-depth investigation by Kent Police, as well as financial analysis of bank accounts and other financial documents, revealed that the alleged investments were never made by BDS in some cases. When investments were made, the value did not match the amounts paid by victims. Barnett and Hunte were both sentenced to 18 months in prison for fraud and money laundering on Monday, April 25, 2022. On Wednesday, December 21, 2022, the men appeared in court again, and Barnett was ordered to pay £72,982 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Because Hunte has no available assets, the court was unable to recoup funds from him, but this will be reconsidered if his financial situation changes. The judge also ruled that each victim will receive a percentage of the available funds. If Barnett does not repay the agreed-upon amount within three months, he will face an additional 18 months in prison. According to Detective Inspector Dave Godfrey of Kent Police’s Economic Crime Unit: ‘For their own greed and financial gain, Barnett and Hunte knowingly defrauded their victims of large sums of money. We are pleased that the victims will be compensated for their losses, and that this case serves as a stark reminder to criminals that crime does not pay. ‘The Proceeds of Crime Act allows our financial investigators to ensure that any money obtained through criminal means is not used to fund further illegal activity,’ says the FBI.

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