A woman wept as she was told by a judge today she could face a prison sentence after being convicted of a council tax fraud conspiracy.
Smith, 39 of Illingworth Road, Halifax was found guilty by a 10-2 majority of a jury at Leeds Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud and by an 11-1 majority on a second charge of concealing criminal property.
John Boon, 59 of Spring Rise, Leeds was found not guilty on the charge of conspiracy to defraud but unanimously convicted by the jury of concealing criminal property.
Judge Guy Kearl QC told them they would be sentenced at a later date along with Henry and ordered pre-sentence reports in their cases.
He warned them both “it must be clearly understood custodial sentences are uppermost in my mind.”
A third defendant, Asif Iqbal, 43, of Hall Bower, Newsome – another salesperson – was found not guilty by the jury on both charges of conspiracy to defraud and concealing criminal property.
The eight man four woman jury was excused jury service for the next 10 years if they wish and were told they can return for the sentence if they want.
They heard during the trial that around 200 people were victims of a £300,000 council tax fraud where customers of Henry’s businesses were offered council tax rebates and rebanding.
The prosecution claimed customers were signed up after either being cold-called or given leaflets suggesting they were over paying on council tax and in many cases could be “guaranteed a rebate.”
But Rebecca Brown, prosecuting, said in many cases no application for rebanding was made to the Valuation Office while in others which were submitted the applications has ‘basic’ errors and incomplete information.
She said Smith worked for Henry as a field sales rep and appointment booker in 2012 and “over promised” customers what they would get. Boon was said to be Henry’s “right hand man.”
Trading Standards officers launched an investigation due to the “sheer number” of complaints.