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Richmond man ordered to repay £320,800 to scam victims
A PUB dominoes enthusiast must pay £320,800 to the victims of a major boiler room share scam or face several more years behind bars.
Michael McInerney, of Maison Dieu, Richmond, was jailed for four and a half years in April after being convicted of three counts of money laundering for fraudsters who conned £27m out of 1,700 investors.
The 57-year-old, originally from Colburn, near Catterick Garrison, acted as a banker for a bogus syndicate lead by Tomas, Kevin and Christopher Wilmot, who were jailed in 2011 for a total of 19 years.
Boiler room scams usually see potential victims being subjected to high pressure sales tactics over the telephone, in an attempt to con people into buying non-tradable, overpriced or non-existent shares.
They are unauthorised, overseas-based firms with fake UK addresses and phone lines routed abroad.
Southwark Crown Court heard the Wilmots enlisted McInerney in 2005 to put some distance between themselves and the proceeds of their con, which was based in south-east England.
McInerney, who neighbours described as “a quiet ladies man”, opened bank accounts into which £12m was paid between January 2006 and October 2007.
He also arranged transfers of funds to offshore accounts in Jersey and Malta, which were later distributed to accounts around the world.
Det Sgt Richard Gordon said without McInerney there could have been fewer victims.
He said: "McInerney knew where the money had come from, and he knew he risked jail if caught. He can have no complaints."
Judge Deborah Taylor ordered McInerney to compensate the victims of the fraud, who will each receive an equal share, or face a further three-and-a-half years in jail.
A spokesman for the Financial Service Authority (FSA) said its investigators rarely managed to seize any assets from boiler room fraudsters.
Tracey McDermott, the FSA’s director of enforcement and financial crime, said: “McInerney played a key role in this complex and elaborate scam, helping the Wilmots launder investors’ money by sending it overseas.
“It is only fair that his assets should now be used to provide defrauded investors with some compensation for their losses.”