Asset confiscation investigation features on BBC documentary

Tue 22nd, May

An ERSOU investigation into the assets of an individual jailed for an elaborate fraud perpetrated against a Norfolk businessmen featured in a BBC documentary on Friday (18 May)

Operation Flow was a fraud investigation conducted by Norfolk Police which saw a number of convictions in 2012 against three men whose fraudulent activity saw victims loose in excess of £17 million.

In 2014 one of the defendants, Alan Hunt, 67, was made subject to a Proceeds of Crime Confiscation Order in the sum of more than £850,000.

Hunt initially stated he was only able to repay around £200,000 and had no other assests available to pay.

An investigation by ERSOU’s Asset Confiscation Enforcement team (ACE) discovered that Hunt was lying and he in fact owned a boat, as well as valuable artwork. Joint work between ACE and the CPS saw these items seized and sold, and the money then went towards the confiscation order to pay back the victims of his crime.

A production company filmed with ERSOU’s ACE team to see how they go about seizing assets from criminals and the Hunt case featured on Ill Gotten Gains last week.

Nick Bentley, Financial Investigation Manager for ERSOU, said: “Hunt committed despicable crimes and it is really important to us that he is made to pay in every way possible - from his custodial sentence to being made to physically pay back his victims through the sale of his assets.

“He purchased these assets with his victim’s money and then attempted to deceive authorities around his ownership of them. Thanks to our team’s investigation, in conjunction with CPS, we uncovered the assets and were able to sell them on, ensuring more money could be repaid to his victims.

“We wanted to highlight the work of the team and show how the jail sentence is not the end of the process. We will work tirelessly to ensure as much money as possible can be repaid to those who have lost out through crime, and we’re pleased the documentary showed people that crime really does never pay.”

Nick Price, head of CPS Proceeds of Crime, said: “Alan Hunt was jailed after the CPS prosecuted him for his part in an elaborate fraud which saw victims lose millions of pounds

“Our work did not stop at conviction and in partnership with the Eastern Region Special Operation Unit we secured a confiscation order of more than £850,000 against Hunt.

“At one stage Hunt claimed he did not have any assets left to pay but after officers found him aboard a motor yacht, we seized it and sold it for over £120,000 in order to return as much money as possible to his victims.”

You can watch the episode of Ill Gotten Gains on BBC I Player. 

The boat seized by ERSOU

Pictured: The boat seized by ERSOU