Council tax conman Jack Darrell Henry will not have to hand back any of the £250,000 he swindled – because investigators can’t find any assets.
Using a variety of companies and trading names – including Council Tax Review, CTR, Reband UK and Household Claims – Henry conned money out of people promising to win a reduction in their council tax.
Jailing him for five years and 10 months, Judge Guy Kearl ruled that Henry made £250,000 out of the scam though investigators believe it may have been more.
Prosecutors often use the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize back cash, property, cars and other assets bought with money made illegally.
But, the Examiner can reveal, Henry is unlikely to face a confiscation order as investigators can’t find any assets.
A spokesman for the York-based regional arm of the National Trading Standards Scambuster and e-Crime Team, said: “During the course of the investigation we made various enquiries about assets for any post-conviction confiscation order but we were unable to locate any.
“We were looking for any realisable assets, which could be a bank account, property or cash, but there wasn’t anything to pursue.
“There is very little benefit in spending thousands of pounds investigating to get only £2 back.”
The spokesman said investigators were satisfied that the courts had dealt an “appropriate punishment” for what was a “serious fraud.”
Henry, whose last address was in Brighouse, admitted conspiracy to defraud and concealing criminal property.
He was locked up for five years and a month for those offences and a nine-month suspended sentence from before was triggered after Leeds Crown Court was told he “carried on regardless” after a previous conviction.
Saleswoman Wendy Smith, 39, of Blackburn, was convicted after a trial of conspiracy and money laundering and was jailed for two years.
John Boon, 59, of Leeds, a book-keeper for the business, had denied money laundering but was found guilty. He was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years.
More than 1,600 complaints were made about Henry’s companies. Householders were typically charged between £145 and £185 for the firm to submit an appeal over council tax banding.
Sales literature even “guaranteed” a reduction and back-dated refunds.
Henry, also known as Darrell Littlewood, took over Scarborough Football Club in April 2001 alongside Greetland lottery winner Mick Taylor.
He vowed to build a “club of the people” but the club ran into financial difficulties and it was taken over again seven months later.
Henry escaped jail for his council tax business in 2012 when a judge told him he had been reckless about his claims and was “a whisker away from fraud.”
He was given a nine-month suspended sentence.
In September 2012 one of his companies, Reband (UK) Ltd, was wound up in the public interest by the Insolvency Service. Between August 2011 and February 2012 investigators found upfront fees totalling £200,930 had been taken.
The Examiner previously reported how Henry had a big turnover of staff and regularly withheld wages and expenses. A group of 13 took him to a tribunal claiming £55,000.
Even after his court conviction in 2012 Henry remained bullish about his business and said: “I think we’ve got excellent prospects. We’ve got a very solid database of successful clients. We’re a leading company.”
Last year, while on bail for the latest offences, he continued to sign up customers against his bail conditions.
He was remanded in custody and served the maximum 184 days inside.
Henry denied living the high life.