Saunders Electrical fraudsters ordered to pay over £7million
10 September, 2019 | Case Updates
Jolan Saunders and Michael Strubel, former company executives at Saunders Electrical Wholesalers Ltd, have this week been ordered to pay confiscation orders totalling £7,393,663.33.
Mr Saunders and Mr Strubel have been ordered to pay £5,262,301.03 and £2,131,362.30 respectively. These totals represent the full realisable assets from their criminal benefit for conspiracy to defraud.
Once paid, all of this money will be distributed as compensation to victims, many of whom were vulnerable people from within the fraudsters’ own communities. Investors had parted with tens of thousands of pounds, with some investing their life savings in the fraudulent scheme.
Lisa Osofsky, Director of the SFO, said:
“This is an excellent result, capitalising on the convictions in the 2015 trials to ensure fraudsters don’t profit from their crimes. Our Proceeds of Crime team have worked tirelessly on this case and these confiscation orders are testament to their hard work.”
Saunders and Strubel enticed wealthy individuals from within their community to invest in Saunders Electrical Wholesale Ltd, which they claimed was a successful supplier of electrical goods to hotel chains and the Olympic Village.
Jolan Saunders pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of acting as a director of a company whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the conspiracy to defraud and one year, to run concurrently, for acting as a director whilst disqualified.
In February 2015, Michael Strubel was tried and found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to defraud, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Saunders faces a 9 year prison sentence if he fails to pay the amounts within 3 months. Strubel faces a 7.5 year prison sentence if he fails to pay the amount within 3 months.
Notes to Editors:
- Jolan Saunders pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of acting as a director of a company whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the conspiracy to defraud charge and one year, to run concurrently, for acting as a director whilst disqualified. Jolan Saunders was handed his confiscation order on Monday 9 September.
- Strubel was tried and found guilty by a jury in February 2015, and was sentenced to seven years. Michael Strubel was handed his confiscation order on Tuesday 10 September.
- In February 2015, a third defendant, Spencer Steinberg, was also found guilty by jury of conspiracy to defraud. Steinberg was handed a confiscation order in 2017, based on his (negligible) realisable assets at the time of the hearing.
- Saunders, Strubel and Steinberg made applications for leave to appeal against sentence, and Strubel and Steinberg made applications for leave to appeal against conviction. These applications were heard at the Court of Appeal on 11 April 2017 and were all refused. There have been three previous confiscation hearings between March 2018, culminating in this fourth and final hearing in September 2019.
- The individuals’ confiscation orders could be increased if the value of their realisable assets changes.
- More information on the case can be found here.
- By recovering the Proceeds of Crime and securing fines from companies, the SFO has delivered a net financial impact of +£450m from 2015 to 2019 (SFO Annual Report 2018/19).