Bus company owners jailed for claiming thousands of pounds in false concessionary journeys
A bus company owner and his sons have been sentenced today (31 October) after faking thousands of concessionary bus pass trips so they could fraudulently reclaim the money from the council.
Eric Jones, 77, owned Express Motors in Gwynedd, North Wales and employed his sons Ian, 53, Kevin, 55, and Keith, 51.
Express Motors accepted concessionary fare passes which give free bus travel to passengers aged over 60 and those with disabilities. Express Motors would make monthly refund claims to the local council based on the number of times the cards had been swiped.
Between June 2012 and July 2014 the men, along with bus driver Rheiunallt Williams, 44, fraudulently swiped 31 concessionary cards which had been lost by passengers to claim more than £88,000 in extra money from the council.
One card was used 23,217 times, an average of 30 times per day. They also used Eric Jones’ own pass.
In a separate fraud, Express Motors also failed to pay tax on £500,000 of non-concessionary fares which were kept off the business’s accounts, Mold Crown Court heard.
Eric Jones and Ian Jones were each sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison. Keith Jones received a six year prison sentence and Kevin Jones received a seven year prison sentence. Rheinallt Williams was jailed for 12 months.
Gurminder Sanghera, of the CPS, said: “These men ran or were employed by a major bus company in North Wales. They each knew what the concessionary fare scheme was and its appropriate use.
“They denied their involvement in this fraud but the CPS showed evidence, including accounts from the real owners of the passes who had lost them, and of the high number of swipes over two years.
“The CPS also showed Express Motors could not account for the large amounts of cash it was making or show it had been taxed appropriately. Instead it was lining the pockets of these men.”
Notes to editors
- Gurminder Sanghera is a Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
- Eric Jones [DOB: 12/12/1940], Ian Jones [DOB: 14/08/1965], Kevin Jones [DOB: 29/09/1963] and Keith Jones [DOB: 14/03/1967] denied conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert and transfer criminal property. All were convicted by a jury on 2 October 2018
- Rheiunallt Williams [DOB: 11/12/1973] initially denied conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation but pleaded guilty before trial.