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SFO acts to recover criminal gains after death of defendant

12 February, 2013 | News Releases

The Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has taken action in the High Court, which has resulted in an Order that the Estate of a convicted fraudster surrender over £64,000 which represents the proceeds of his crimes.

In September 2011 Mr Redmond Johnson, then 66, pleaded guilty to his role in a fraud which netted over £8 million. He and six co-defendants convicted of the fraud were sentenced to nearly 40 years’ imprisonment in October 2011. Mr Johnson’s sentence was three years’ imprisonment following his agreement to give evidence for the prosecution.

Mr Johnson was taken ill on the day of his confiscation hearing. He was taken to hospital and died shortly afterwards. Consequently no compensation order was made by the court.

SFO investigators linked much of Mr Johnson’s estate to his fraudulent activities, and pursued his criminal gains under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Whilst some of the victims could have pursued their losses through the civil courts, the cost of such proceedings would have outweighed the recoverable amount. The compensation will range from a few pounds to several hundred pounds and is to be distributed to over 475 victims. It will be in addition to any sums recovered from Mr Johnson’s co-conspirators. Compensation proceedings against them are on-going.

Any funds which are not claimed by the victims on the schedule, within a specified period of time will be, under the terms of the order, considered as recoverable property. This process will ensure that the cost of administering the distribution, which is being met by the SFO, will be proportionate and finite.  

Statement of the SFO Director

SFO Director David Green CB QC said; “The SFO’s decision to reach a settlement, considering the circumstances of this case, ensures victims will obtain at least some compensation.”     

Notes for editors:

  1. Sentencing press release 4 October 2011.