Fraudster businessman ordered to hand over his pension to pay victims - The Stratford Observer

Fraudster businessman ordered to hand over his pension to pay victims

Stratford Editorial 11th Jun, 2018   0

A SOUTH Warwickshire businessman who is serving an eight-year prison term for a series of frauds must hand over his pension fund – or face more time behind bars.

Stephen Murrall had been jailed in November after a jury at Warwick Crown Court convicted him of five charges of fraud, including one surrounding the takeover of Hartlepool United FC.

But a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned at that time for an investigation into his finances and those of co-defendants Peter Harris and Henry Kerr.

At the resumed hearing, prosecutor Suki Dhadda said it was agreed 49-year-old Murrall, of Mill Court, Shipston, had benefitted to the tune of nearly £674,500 from his crooked activities.

But his only available asset was just over £49,600 which was in pension funds.

So Judge Sylvia de Bertodano made a confiscation order in that amount, giving Murrall three months to pay or face another 12 months in jail, after which the money would still have to be paid.

She ordered most of the confiscated sum to go to Jonathan Rehbein of the ESRG Group, who had loaned Murrall £500,000 for a non-existent business venture in Malta and £50,000 in relation to Hartlepool United, with the rest going to another victim.

The Proceeds of Crime Act hearing against Harris, 47, of Compton Court, Watery Lane, Shipston, was adjourned for him to get his legal aid resolved – and that against Kerr, 61, who lives in Wien, Germany, because he had not attended court.

During their trial, the jury heard Murrall and Harris had stripped the gate receipts from struggling Hatlepool’s home games before defrauding Mr Rehbein to replace the money.

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