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Counterfeit gang forced to pay back money

A gang of counterfeiters has been ordered to pay back over £400,000 of its ill-gotten gains, thetelegraphandargus.co.uk reports.

The gang, from Pudsey in West Yorkshire, was jailed in 2010 to a collective total of 35 and a half years.

The men have now been told they need to pay back £400,371.22 following the approval of four confiscation orders.

One of the gang members was 62-year-old John Hartley, who was given six months to stump up his share - which came to £252,445.23; though it was estimated that he may have made closer to £1 million during the sophisticated operation.

Police have already seized some of his assets, including a Range Rover, £139,000 in cash, £12,000 worth of antiques and £75,000 worth of property assets.

Hartley was caught when police swooped on his vehicle and found £380,000 worth of fake notes inside. Both the quality and quantity of notes sent out a message to local traders to ensure they had sufficient cash management protocols in place to help ensure they didn't accept any forgeries.

Speaking to itv.com after the confiscation order was given, DCI Mick Lawrenson of the Economic Crime Unit explained: "Confiscations like this send the clear message to criminals that we use all powers available to stop them leading luxurious lives while heaping misery on others, and ensure their crimes do not pay."

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