You may feel as though pyramid schemes have died out or are no longer used but the fact that so many people have forgotten about them or have dismissed them means that many criminals will be looking to utilise this form of scam. Anything which promises people the chance to get rich quick is going to be a winning idea and this is what a pyramid scheme is all about. It turns out that new laws are helping to crack down on these schemes and a number of females are now experiencing a rough time due to being caught and found guilty of behaving in this manner.
The six women involved with running the scheme, which manages to draw in a total of £21m have had assets of over £330,000 confiscated. This particular scheme saw thousands of people lose money and be duped by these tricksters.
In the middle of July, Rita Lomas, a 50 year old woman from Whitchurch pleaded guilty to her role in the team who managed to pocket up to £92,000 each in a period of less than a year. The women were aged between 35 and 70, which mean that there was a broad age range of people involved with the process.
POCA is a great tool in the fight against crime
The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002 provides the legislation for seizing assets from criminals and this was the basis for the hearing which took place at Bristol Crown Court. There was agreement that the proceeds of crime for Lomas amounted to £40,455.93 but an investigation into her available assets suggested that she only had £1 to spare. This is the sort of finding that leaves many people annoyed with the justice system. When you think about the amount of money that has been taken in by these professionals you would think that they would have more money available to take or seize but a lot of it depends on how organised the criminal is. An organised criminal who takes the time to disguise or hide assets will find that they seriously reduce any level of action that can come from POCA action.
They will also find that hiring an effective solicitor can make a big difference to the overall outcome of a case, and this is why it always makes sense to call on the services of a professional and experienced solicitor. With more and more POCA cases taking place, there is a growing number of solicitors that find themselves with experience in these matters, which means that it should be possible to find a defence solicitor who has the experience and expertise you need to present a robust defence.
In total, 11 different women were facing charges in this prosecution and this is down to a new form of consumer protection regulation. This is important because with an increasing number of scams taking place, there needs to be more done to look after consumers. Ideally there would be action to prevent the scams taking place in the first place but this can be hard to arrange or put into place. This is why placing greater potential punishments into action will hopefully act as a deterrent. If criminals think that they have a lot to gain if a crime goes well but very little to lose if things go against them, there is no real incentive for them to behave in an expected manner.
They can opt to undertake fraud or scams in the knowledge that there isn’t much to lose. However, with an increasing array of powers in place, there is a strong chance that there is a notable level of punishment on offer for people who participate in this form of crime. This will hopefully lower the number of people looking to take part in scams, which will hopefully reduce the amount of scams.
Of the women involved with the pyramid scheme, three have been sentenced to jail terms. Laura Fox, 70 years old and deemed to be the brains behind the scheme, Jennifer-Smith Hayes, 69 and the treasurer and Carol Chambers, 69 and the event and venue organiser, were all sent to prison for 9 months after they were convicted of organising and promoting the scam.
Anyone involved in this sort of crime will know that the services of a good and reliable lawyer can make a difference in the final outcome.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.