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I have no money left, fraudster tells judge

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Paul Cope, the Stafford fraudster who netted more than £28 million in leasing and mortgage scams, has told a judge he has no money salted away.

Paul Cope, the Stafford fraudster who netted more than £28 million in leasing and mortgage scams, has told a judge he has no money salted away.

He also said that he has no hidden assets. The disgraced financier, serving a 64-month jail term, faces the confiscation of all his assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr James Fletcher, for the Crown, told Stafford Crown Court yesterday that Cope made £25.4 million from a leasing fraud and £3 million from a separate mortgage fraud involving his former luxury home in Barn Bank Lane, Hyde Lea..

Former Stafford Rangers shirt sponsor Cope, who headed the Kingdom Finance group of companies based in Stafford, orchestrated the scheme to dupe banks and finance houses in to paying for non-existent hospital equipment through bogus lease agreements.

Two other Stafford businessmen, Andrew Oxlade and Brian Challiner, were also involved and have each been jailed.

The house at Hyde Lea has been repossessed.

Mr Fletcher told the Proceeds of Crime hearing that some of Cope's assets totalling £401,263 had already been agreed. But he was disputing two further sums – and there could also be further "hidden assets."

Whilst he was on bail awaiting trial, Cope breached a restraining order on his financial affairs and was remanded in custody.

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Mr Fletcher told Judge John Maxwell: "Is he the type of person who would seek to put assets out of the reach of the Crown or seek to hide these assets? It is up to Cope to persuade you that he doesn't have any other assets."

But giving evidence, Cope said he had no hidden assets at all.

Judge Maxwell reserved judgement until next month.

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