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‘Basil’ from the Hatton Garden security vault heist ordered to pay almost £6million

|News, Proceeds of crime

One of the ringleaders from the Hatton Garden security vault heist has today been ordered to pay £5,997,684.93.

Michael Seed, known as ‘Basil’, 58, was convicted in March 2019 for his part in the £13.69million heist, believed to be one of the largest burglaries in English history.

Wearing a face covering and wig to disguise his identity, Seed was the one who entered the vault through the drilled hole and helped empty the contents.

He was seen walking away from the scene with a bin bag over his shoulder, presumed to be full of gold, jewellery and precious stones.

Three years later police officers raided Seed’s one-bedroom Islington council flat where they found an array of items stolen from Hatton Garden.

Seed has continued to deny his involvement in this high value burglary, and any knowledge of the proceeds of the burglary except for the jewellery valued at £143,078 that was found in his flat.

He said that he worked in the jewellery business but no evidence to support this was found and victims identified some of the items discovered at his flat as their own.

Today (1 October 2020) at Woolwich Crown Court Michael Seed has been issued with a confiscation order of £5,997,684.93 which he must pay within three months or he could face seven years in prison.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS Proceeds of Crime said: “Despite Mr Seed’s protestations of innocence the CPS was able to prove that he was the masked man, and that he and his conspirators took millions of pounds worth of precious stones, gold and jewellery.

“He has now been ordered to pay almost £6 million. If Mr Seed fails to pay the money he owes in time, he will face up to seven years in prison.

“Where we can take money from people who have profited from crime, we do. Last year the CPS recovered over £100 million, stopping hundreds of criminals benefiting from their ill-gotten gains. ”

Notes to editors

  • Michael Seed (DOB: 09/08/1960) was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company and money laundering on 15 March 2019 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
  • Adrian Foster is the Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Proceeds of Crime (CPS POC), which is a specialist division dedicated to  the recovery of assets and money.
  • Details of other Confiscation Orders:
    • John Collins (DOB 05/09/1940), Brian Reader (DOB 28/02/1939), Daniel Jones and Terry Perkins were given a joint confiscation order of £6,396,273.75 plus extra sums dependent on their personal circumstances. Any money paid by any of the men as regards the joint amount would be treated as a payment towards each co-defendant’s confiscation order.
  • £3,635,204 of recovered jewellery was returned to victims following conviction. The remainder, which could not be accurately or safely identified, is being sold at auction.
  • Amount paid to date: £1,659,793
  • Where a defendant refuses to pay their Confiscation Order in a timely way, CPS Proceeds of Crime can invite the court to impose an additional default sentence on them of up to 14 years' imprisonment. The full debt continues to be in force until it is paid and interest is charged against it at 8% (the civil judgement debt rate).
  • Status of the remaining defendants:
    • Terry Perkins died in prison in February 2018 and steps are being taken to recover funds from his estate
    • Daniel Jones’s default sentence was activated on 14 August 2018 where he was sentenced to a further six-and-a-half years' imprisonment
    • John Collins’ default sentence was activated on 1 August 2019 where he was sentenced to a further six and a half years’ imprisonment
    • Brian Reader was taken before the court on 12 February 2020, however due to his deteriorating health the District Judge declined to impose the seven years’ default sentence upon him.

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