A FRAUDSTER involved in a multi-million-pound swindle centred on Rotherham has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds to the public purse.
Matthew Wootton was sentenced to nine months in jail after pleading guilty in May 2009 to an offence of conspiracy to defraud, relating to a massive mortgage scam.
He was among seven people convicted following a complex, three-year investigation—dubbed Operation Cognac—by specialist detectives from South Yorkshire Police’s Money Laundering Team.
Just over a year on, Wootton (29), of Eskdale Road, Wingfield, returned to Sheffield Crown Court for confiscation proceedings, aimed at ensuring that he did not benefit from his crime.
His Honour Judge Swanson ruled that Wootton had benefited to the tune of £168,400, but made a confiscation order for £49,793.51—the total value of funds and assets owned by Wootton.
If he fails to pay up within six months, Wootton will have to serve a further 18 months in prison—and will still be faced with paying the money.