A REDDITCH man at the heart of a 'deliberate and cynical' fraud that netted more than £800,000 from hundreds of unsuspecting timeshare owners has been ordered to repay more than £85,000.

In February 2018, Brian Carr, 31, formerly of Brockhill Lane, Redditch, was one of a group of nine individuals jailed for his involvement in a timeshare fraud scheme.

At least 10 bogus businesses were set up as a front to cover the timeshare re-sale scam to target elderly and vulnerable owners.

Victims paid fees of up to £1,500 believing there were genuine buyers for their timeshare facilities in Spain and Portugal, but it was all a sham.

Offices were rented, initially in Norwich, and later in Redditch and Bromsgrove, telephone and merchant chip and pin payment facilities were established, numerous bank accounts were opened and letter headings in the name of the 'convincing sounding' companies were produced - all using false details.

The frauds were committed between 2012 and 2015 and often targeted people such as the elderly and those in poor health.

Carr was imprisoned for six years and eight months in prison for conspiracy to defraud and perverting the course of justice.

His benefit from this criminal lifestyle was deemed to be £829,316.

Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) began and on Monday (July1) Carr, who was understood to have been the group's ringleader, was ordered to repay £85,309.

All outstanding benefit from criminal conduct is a lifetime debt owed until such time as it is fully repaid.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, of West Mercia Police's economic crime unit said: "We are committed to protecting vulnerable people from harm and this includes removing assets from those who have benefited from the proceeds of crime.

"The order granted in respect of this individual represents the results of a time-consuming criminal investigation and linked financial investigation.

"The Proceeds of Crime legislation is a powerful tool in the fight for justice and removing assets from an offender to rightly reimburse the victims of their crime, is key even where they are subject to a custodial sentence."

She added: "The result demonstrates that crime does not pay."