Fraudsters behind £8m boiler room jailed for combined 40 years


Seven men who conducted an £8 million investment fraud in a Spain-based boiler room operation have been sentenced to a total of 39 and a half years’ imprisonment at Ipswich Crown Court reports Citywire.

The men targeted thousands of UK investors through high pressured telesales techniques to push shares in bio-diesel company Worldwide Bio Refineries (WBR).

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecuted the case in conjunction with Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies.

Dennis Potter of Singapore and Redmond ‘Ray’ Charles Johnson of Tyne and Wear were directors of WBR and have been sentenced to seven and three years in jail.

Three other defendents, all boiler room operatives, were sentenced to six years in jail: Steven John Murphy and Greg Pearson, both from Marbella, and Paul Daniel Murphy from Hertfordshire. Lee Eliot Homan, also from Herfordshire, received a five years’ and six months prison term.

Peter Biddy from London absconded and was tried and sentenced his absence to six years’ imprisonment. A court warrant has been issued for his arrest.

All five boiler room operatives were also disqualified from being company directors for six years.

In passing sentece, His Honour Judge Overbury said of the fraud: ‘This was a well planned, sophisticated and well executed fraud dressed up in the language of legitimate business.

‘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.’

Richard Alderman, SFO director said: ‘I am very pleased with the sentences in this case which reflect the callous way the criminals preyed on their victims.’