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CPS Proceeds of Crime

When the trial is over and the offender convicted, specialist lawyers in Crown Prosecution Service Proceeds of Crime (CPSPOC) - along with other criminal justice agencies - go after any ill-gotten gains.

CPSPOC has three main offices around the country and plays a key role in recovering millions of pounds each year.

Find out more about CPS Proceeds of Crime.

Prosecutors recover £3.3m from Essex VAT fraudster

19/05/2017

A businessman who was jailed for six years for a large-scale VAT fraud has been ordered to pay back over £3.3million to the taxpayer.

Robert Waterman, of Essex, had created a fake trade in computer memory sticks to fraudulently claim millions in VAT repayments between June 2013 and April 2015.

He spent the proceeds on UK properties, a Range Rover, a Mercedes, a Lexus and a Spanish holiday home.

Shortly after his arrest the CPS took action to restrain his assets and at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (May 18), a judge ruled that Waterman must pay back over £3.3million within three months or face a default eight-year prison sentence if he fails to pay.

The court heard £2.3million will be recovered almost immediately from his restrained assets.

Diana Cottrell, from the CPS, said: "Robert Waterman used taxpayers' money to fund a lavish lifestyle including expensive houses, fast cars and luxury holidays.

"By working with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs investigators to quickly freeze his assets and secure today's court order, we have already recovered a significant amount of money for the public purse, with more to follow.

"In taking swift action we have ensured Waterman will not benefit further from the proceeds of his crimes."

Notes:

  • In the original case, Robert Waterman pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue, money laundering, furnishing false documents with the intent to deceive in relation to fraudulent VAT returns, operating a company while a banned director and absconding while on bail.
  • He was jailed for six years at Chelmsford Crown Court in October 2016 and was banned from acting as a company director for ten years
  • Thursday's judgment ruled that Waterman benefited from his crimes in the amount of £5,053,541 and has available assets of £3,354,173. He has £2,358,528 in bank accounts which have already been restrained by the CPS and this money will be recovered immediately.
  • The remaining money will be recovered through sales of property, cars, jewellery, hidden assets and 'tainted gifts'.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Diana Cottrell is a Specialist Prosecutor with CPS Proceeds of Crime
  2. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233