Wolverhampton Johnson brother's treasured collection sold off

Sporting memorabilia worth thousands of pounds that belongs to notorious criminal Carl Johnson are to be sold off to re-coup some of his cash.

Detectives from the Regional Asset Recovery Team were given authority to sell the items by a judge at a court hearing in Birmingham last week under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The 51-year-old and his brother Tony, 52, both from Wolverhampton, were jailed for two years in 2012 for money laundering following a joint investigation between West Midlands Police and HM Revenue & Customs.

It was ruled at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday they had jointly benefitted from criminal activity to the tune of £2,454,426.

They were ordered to pay back just under £340,000 after a review of their remaining wealth. After the case last week Carl Johnson contacted the Express & Star to insist there were no hidden assets.

Police have now revealed they will be sending boxing, football and darts collectables to be auctioned off.

The haul includes signed shirts, boxing gloves and pictures will go up for auction at Wilsons Auctions in Mallusk in Norther Ireland on June 19. Also included are signed photographs of Mohammed Ali, signed Wayne Rooney and Phil Taylor shirts and Ricky Hatton shorts.

There was also a 1966 England t-shirt signed by nine of the World Cup winning squad, signed items by Jake ‘The Raging Bull’ LaMotta, and a collection of programmes from early boxing matches. In total, officers removed 59 lots from storage which had been seized from the Great Horse pub, in Bushbury Road, Wolverhampton in 2009.

Det Sgt Derek Tinsley, from the Regional Asset Recovery Team, said he expected the lots to fetch between £5,000 and £10,000.

He said: “The Johnsons probably thought they’d spend a couple of years and prison and then come back out to their fortune but what we’ve done is take action to ensure they’re never able to benefit from their criminality.”

Police say the Johnson brothers lived a lavish lifestyle, spending money on sports cars and properties, after being involved in a £34 million tax scam headed by Solihull businessman Thomas Scragg. Scragg’s Wednesfield-based company Moya Payroll managed staff wages for several construction industry companies but used the firm as a front to steal more than £26m in tax. Scragg was jailed for 17 years.