COUNTY NEWS: Fraudster ordered to pay back £92,000

James Fyfe. Picture: Sussex Police

James Fyfe. Picture: Sussex Police

A West Sussex man already serving a prison sentence for fraud now has to pay back £92,000 profits from his crime, following an investigation by Sussex Police financial crime investigators.

On Thursday, September 29 at Chichester Crown Court, a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) took place in relation to James Fyfe, 26, of Hurston Lane, Storrington, Pulborough, Sussex Police said.

On June 9, Fyfe had been sentenced to four years imprisonment for fraud. This also activated a one-year suspended sentence given to him in May 2015 for previous fraud offences.

Police said that Fyfe had registered a company called Prestige Lifestyle Supercars Limited under the guise that his alleged wealthy business partner had a fleet of supercars for hire.

He used social media to promote this alleged business which in fact did not own any luxury vehicles at all and he then went on to offer for sale high-end luxury vehicles that he did not own or have title to.

Police said he duped his victims and friends into believing this was a legitimate business but used the proceeds of his crimes to live a lavish lifestyle by hiring luxury supercars for himself and his friends, purchasing designer clothing and treat friends and family to meals out and hotel stays.

This was all in an effort to continue the impression that he was a successful businessman but the police investigation by West Sussex detectives revealed no evidence of any legitimate trading, police said.

They added that the subsequent proceeds of crime investigation revealed that Fyfe had benefitted from his criminality to the value of £282,543.60 and following an investigation into his current available assets, he was ordered to pay the sum of £92,464.21. A compensation order for this sum was awarded to one of his victims and will be paid from the sums recovered from his confiscation order.

Fyfe’s two mobile phones which were used in the commission of his fraudulent activity were ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.

Police said he was given three months to pay and if he fails to do so will receive a further 30 months imprisonment, and will still have to pay.

They added that while the order does not reflect the vast amount of money he defrauded from various victims, POCA allows for the confiscation order to be revisited, should further assets be identified in the future.

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