The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has sentenced the final two of six men jailed for defrauding customers, and secured £434,835.73 for the victims.
The men, Kenneth Reid, 61, and Niall Hastie, 55, must pay back £18,869.93 and £2,759.70 respectively. If they are unable to within the next three months a further two years will be added to their prison sentence, each is already serving three and a half years.
The four other members of the group are currently serving longer sentences; Ludovic Black seven years and six months for the fraud offence and a consecutive sentence of two months for a bail offence, David Diaz six years and six months for the fraud offence and a consecutive sentence of two months for a bail offence, and Stephen Wilson and Robert Ross are both serving four years and six months for the fraud offence.
Additionally, Wilson was ordered to pay £220,000 and Ross £193,206.10 when the pair were sentenced in November 2019. All the money recovered will be returned to the victims.
The group of six men obtained around £17 million from hundreds of victims as part of the Solar Energy Savings scam. Using deceitful sales techniques and false guarantees of reimbursement through subsidies, the group sold solar panels to victims who lost between £600 and £35,000 each.
They specifically targeted elderly, retired and vulnerable people. The SFO says that they then used to money to live an extravagant lifestyle that included expensive cars and luxury holidays.
Lisa Osofsky, director of the SFO, said: “These men operated a sophisticated scheme to scam people out of money they had worked a lifetime to earn.
“The SFO is committed to stripping criminals like these fraudsters of their ill-gotten gains and securing compensation for aggrieved victims. We work tirelessly to ensure that crime doesn’t pay.”
The group were originally jailed in August 2018, and initial sentencing was passed in October of that year.