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Property investment fraudster ordered to serve an additional six years

26 November, 2014 | News Releases

Teesside Magistrates’ Court today ordered that John Potts should serve a term of six years’ imprisonment for failure to pay a confiscation order.

Following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, John Potts of Sunderland was convicted of an offence of conspiracy to defraud and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.

Between 2001 and 2003 he defrauded investors in Practical Property Portfolios Ltd (PPP Ltd) of about £80 million. In September 2010, a £1.5 million confiscation order was made against him and he was told that unless he pays this sum in full within two years he would serve an additional six years imprisonment. That sentence was activated today.

On today’s result, Elizabeth Baker, SFO Joint Deputy Head of the Proceeds of Crime Division said:

“This was a pernicious fraud, with large amounts of money paid over in good faith by investors. As a result John Potts enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle, using other people’s money to pay for home improvements and purchase race horses and expensive cars. The Serious Fraud Office is committed to ensuring criminals surrender the benefits of their crimes.”

The default sentence was activated today by two magistrates sitting at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, and will be served unless the confiscation order plus accrued interest is paid in full.

Notes to editors:

1. For further information on this case please see the guilty plea press release from 16 January 2009, the sentencing press release 2 April 2009 and a confiscation update on 23 September 2010.

2. In total John Potts has paid £351,794.15 towards the original confiscation order.

3. The investigation was conducted with the assistance of Northumbria Police Economic Crime Unit.

4. The outstanding balance of the confiscation order is £1,365,427.49 which is accruing interest at £251.66per day