Fraudster wins appeal over money he must repay

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A convicted fraudster has had the amount of money he must repay reduced from £179,000 to £7,900.

Christopher Boughton-Fox, from Thorpe St Andrew, was jailed for seven years in 2011 for his part in a large-scale telecoms scam.

Schools, charities and business across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, including Pot Kiln Primary School in Great Cornard, were duped out of thousands of pounds by the tactics of staff at Business Telecom Ltd, of which Boughton-Fox was the chairman.

At a proceeds of crime hearing in March 2012, Boughton-Fox’s assets were reported to stand at £179,000, while the court heard his financial benefit from the scam was £1.3 million.

Boughton-Fox contested the figure and, last week, the Court of Appeal agreed, reducing it to £7,900, slashing the money he must repay to the same amount.

When convicted at Ipswich Crown Court, the court was told that sales staff at the company systematically lied to persuade customers to sign up for lengthy and expensive contracts.

Prosecutor David Wilson said that “dishonesty was endemic” within the company and sales staff were under considerable pressure to achieve results, even if it meant lying.