A strood businessman who stole £ 450,000 from his father and bought Range Rover will reimburse £ 1
A con artist who left his father broke and splashed on a Range Rover after taking his £ 450,000 in life savings will now have to pay back just £ 1.
Gamer Peter Simmons invented a fake investment banker called Paul Newman to take the money behind his father’s back.
His father was later forced out of retirement after learning of his crooked son’s theft.
But now a judge has learned that after a detailed financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act, Simmons Jr. had no assets.
All he will have to pay back is a symbolic £ 1 – not even the price of a cup of tea – or serve an extra day in jail.
He is currently serving a 42-month prison sentence for fraud.
Maidstone Crown Court had heard how the criminal splashed an £ 80,000 Range Rover.
It wasn’t until tree surgeon Peter Simmons senior went to the bank with his other children that he found out all the money was gone.
The thief also raided his father’s safe and pawn rings that once belonged to his late mother.
Simmons jnr, of High Street, Manston, telephoned his devastated father saying, “I’m sorry … I hope you forgive me.”
Prosecutor Bridget Todd has revealed how he worked with his mother Sharon at the family’s Greenway Forestry Ltd, based in Squires Close, Strood.
She died in October 2014 and he took over the administration and the bank of the company, paying salaries and VAT invoices.
Almost immediately, he invented a personal investment banker called “Paul Newman,” who he claimed had helped his late mother.
Ms Todd said Mr Simmons Sr. trusted his son and was unaware that Mr Newman was a “fictional character invented by the accused”.
The crook son even provided his father with fake Barclays Bank statements – designed to disguise the theft by including real purchases.
Between June 5, 2015 and October 3, 2018, Simmons junior made 597 bank transfers from his father’s personal account, ranging from £ 10 to £ 4,000, the court said.
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