Five men who were jailed last year have been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds over involvement in a fraudulent scheme that groomed elderly people.

The five men were all jailed for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation in November 2018 for their part in an organised crime group.

The gang groomed at least 24 elderly victims, convincing them to pay into bogus investment opportunities.

After their convictions, a financial investigator hailing from Surrey Police sought confiscation orders under POCA against them.

These were granted at a hearing at Kingston Crown Court on Friday, July 5, 2019.

In total, the men were ordered to repay £370,634.80 which had been identified in assets.

A spokesperson for Surrey Police described the scam set up by the men now ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains.

"The fraudsters set up a company ‘The Commodities Link’ which appeared legitimate with offices in Canary Wharf, glossy brochures and slick marketing videos.

"They boasted of celebrity links, and would send cars to collect high value victims and take them out for meals.

"In fact it was all a façade – the Canary Wharf offices were serviced offices and mailboxes, the claims in the glossy brochures and slick videos were fake," the spokesperson described.

Surrey Police helped investigate the gang in 2013 after one of their targets — an elderly woman from Woking — asked her bank to help with the transfer of £100,000 to the fraudsters and the bank manager informed the police.

A breakdown of the five men's orders issued at Kingston Crown Court earlier this month was released:

  • Gennaro Fiorentino, age 39, of Wetherall Road, Hackney was ordered to repay £130,614.80
  • Daniel Flood, age 40 , of High Elms Lane, Stevenage was ordered to repay 190,000.00
  • Mark Whitehead, age 60, of Thetford Road, Bury St Edmunds was ordered to repay £50,000
  • Paul Muldoon, age 35 C/O Pin Mill, Basildon was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £10 as he does not currently have any assets. In this case, if in future he comes into money or Surrey Police identifies assets belonging to him, we will pursue him for these.
  • Jonathan Docker, age 33 of Charlesworth Court, Chigwell was ordered to pay a nominal fee of £10

Detective Inspector Matt Durkin, Head of the Surrey Police's Economic Crime Unit, said:

"These people destroyed their victims’ lives without a second thought.

"They took life savings, left investors destitute and took away the confidence and independence of their elderly victims.

"They were professional criminals, essentially grooming the people they targeted over time, and thoroughly deserve to have each and every penny of their criminal gains that we’ve been able to identify taken from them."