Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) Financial Investigators, working in partnership with Surrey Trading Standards Authority, were successful in obtaining a Confiscation Order in the sum of ?354,049 against Lee Thomas Martin of Downsview, Banstead, Surrey.

On 26th April 2006 at Guildford Crown Court, Mr. Martin was convicted of 16 offences of criminal deception relating to his involvement in a large scale car-clocking enterprise. HHJ Crocker declined to sentence the defendant until after the conclusion of the confiscation proceedings.

During the course of the investigation conducted by ARA, it was identified that Mr. Martin had bank accounts in his own name and alias identities, together with considerable assets in both the UK and overseas. The bank account activity was identified as being substantial. Following this, Mr. Martin's realisable assets, including a villa in Spain, were frozen on 23rd May 2005.

The financial determination was concluded at Guildford Crown Court on Thursday 2nd March 2006 when HHJ Crocker certified the criminal benefit at ?894,885, and made a confiscation order in the sum of ?354,049, from which ?30,260 was ordered to be paid in compensation to the victims of the deception.

Payment was ordered to be made within 12 months, with a period of five years' imprisonment in default. The judge then proceeded to sentence Mr. Martin to a period of 24 months' imprisonment.

Jane Earl, Director of the Agency, said: "This is an excellent result for the Assets Recovery Agency and Surrey Trading Standards Authority. It shows that the powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act can be brought to bear on crimes such as car clocking as effectively as they can be on drug dealing and smuggling.

"People who commit crimes of dishonesty should put themselves on alert that ARA will work with our partners to make sure that crime does not pay. Criminals no longer have a hiding place."

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