Fraudsters who stole £50k will only have to pay back £1 each
A FATHER and son who cheated their local community out of almost £50,000 will have to pay back only £1 each under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Police have been unable to trace any of the money they obtained from their trusting Asian victims, Gloucester Crown Court was told.
Judge William Hart made a nominal confiscation order requiring them each to pay £1 within seven days.
But he warned that if police do track down their ill-gotten gains, they will be brought back before the court to have it confiscated.
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Siyed Asem, 58, and his son Syed Bukhari, 25, ran a corner shop in the Barton Street area and operated a Western Union money transfer service.
But more than 20 Asian customers who used the service to send money home to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, were left £48,206 out of pocket.
When Judge Jamie Tabor QC jailed the pair for two years each in August, he said he was astonished that they were able to run any kind of business in the UK when they were both illegal overstayers and Asem was bankrupt.
Bukhari admitted 11 offences of fraud in that between January and March 2011 he made false representations to customers that his money transfer business was in a sound financial position and that money would be transferred at a preferential rate of exchange.
Asem admitted 12 similar charges.
In court, prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said Bukhari had benefited by £32,999 from his crimes and Asem by £15,247.
However, she said, police investigators had not located any of the money so far and therefore were only able to ask for a nominal £1 confiscation from each.
Father and son have been told they will be deported when they have completed their sentences.