Brian Webb, the man behind the £9.5 million Gwent Fleet
Management fraud, only has to pay back £47,000, it was decided at a
court hearing last month. Webb (pictured left, courtesy of South
Wales Argus), was jailed for four years last February.
At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on 3
December, it was decided that Webb, 68, received £9,428,360 from
the 169-victim car finance fraud, but would have to pay back just
James Baird, a partner at HBJ Gateley Wareing LLP, a law firm
which acted on behalf of some of the finance companies defrauded,
said: “The amount appears small given the scale of the fraud, but
this is because this is a confiscation order under the Proceeds of
Crime Act, not to be confused with compensation or damages.
“The sum of £47,255 against Mr Webb was the amount of money that
the court held he had benefited from personally by undertaking the
fraud – and was the amount obtainable from assets in his name
believed to be the proceeds of that criminal activity.”
Webb was the managing director of Gwent Fleet Management, which
sold and leased cars to private buyers and companies before being
declared insolvent in 2008. Between December 2004 and September
2008 Webb sold cars to customers who paid in cash. He later forged
signatures to take out finance agreements without their knowledge,
meaning he was effectively paid twice for the cars.
The company enticed customers with low prices, which Webb
claimed he could offer because he received bonuses from car firms
which he could pass on to customers.
By 2008 Gwent’s bank account was £200,000 overdrawn. Webb tried
to prop up the business using money from his own account, which was
also overdrawn by more than £50,000.