TWO conmen who fleeced investors out of more than £4m in a scam have been ordered to repay just £1 each.
Andrew Jelley, 39, and Joseph Nunn, 43, were locked up for carrying out the five-year con that left a devastating trail, with 24 victims, many of whom lost their homes.
Their case was back in court as the police and Crown Prosecution Service sought to claw back some of the cash.
But prosecutor David Reid said a financial investigation had shown the men had no money left and no assets.
‘Therefore in each defendant’s case we invite the court to make a confiscation order in the sum of a nominal amount of £1,’ he said.
Detective Sergeant Lee Macarthur, from Hampshire Constabulary’s financial investigation unit, vowed to pursue the pair for the money.
He said: ‘The confiscation order will remain with them as a debt that needs repaying.
‘Whenever they have money or purchase assets we will be there to recoup what is owed on the debt until the full amount is satisfied.’
Judge Sarah Munro gave Jelley and Nunn 28 days to pay up or have a single day added to their six-and-a-half-year sentences.
She said: ‘In the case of Nunn I declare the benefit figure is £2,925,206.44.
‘The available amount is nil.
‘Accordingly there will be a confiscation order in the sum of £1.
‘In the case of Jelley the benefit figure is £2,138,062.44.
‘The available amount again is nil so the confiscation order is in the sum of £1.’
Both men pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the 24 investors.
Sentencing them at Portsmouth Crown Court in October, Judge Sarah Munro said they were equally to blame.
She accepted that the scheme had started out honestly, but said it was ‘doomed to failure as the new investors ran out’, and the duo then gave nothing but empty promises.
Judge Munro said both men were prepared to lie their way out of trouble.
Since April Hampshire police have carried out 164 confiscation orders in the courts, bringing in just over £1.3m to the public purse.
The force has also issued 46 cash forfeiture orders, seizing £179,500 in the same period.
TRADING under the name AJ Corporate Services and based at the Old Naval Club in Portsmouth, many investors lost hundreds of thousands to the pair.
They promised returns of 15 per cent a year on property schemes, which often saw investors signing over their homes.
Investors were told their money would be used to buy properties outright and let them out to gain the returns.
But many of the properties bought by Nunn and Jelley were saddled with massive mortgages.
The first many victims knew about their homes being heavily remortgaged by the pair was when repossession orders arrived.
The pair failed to make interest payments on the investments and were gambling heavily online – sometimes up to £30,000 a day.
Nunn, of Corsham in Wiltshire, lost £1.74m through gambling between 2004 and 2009, with Jelley, of Broad Street in Old Portsmouth, losing £280,000 in the same period.
Only about £80,000 of the money has ever been recovered.
by GARETH BETHELL