Pension transfer fraudster with 800 victims convicted for second time

Published:  11 May at 6 PM
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A previously convicted pension fraudster has been rearrested and sentenced again for running a pension transfer scam.

Simon Colfer,had been convicted and jailed for theft, forgery, fraud and obtaining money by deception at an earlier date, but after his release in 2010 he fronted Fortitude Trading under the false name Simon Davies in order to cover up his past history. His previous conviction had resulted in his being declared bankrupt and subject under the Proceeds of Crime Act to a £1.7 million confiscation order.

However, the Welsh Regional Organised Crime Unit continued their investigation into his affairs, revisiting the confiscation order and involving Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit in the case. A subsequent search of a rented property he shared with his partner, Patricia Andrews, revealed a safe with £91,000 in cash as well as a collection of valuable memorabilia. As a result, Colfer and his partner were arrested and charged.

The long, complex and extremely expensive investigation involved enquiries in many countries favoured by British expat retirees and those with bank accounts in offshore jurisdictions. Portugal, Spain, the Caribbean, Gibraltar, Belize and the Isle of Man were all visited, and extensive enquiries took place all over the UK. Five years later, the pair were arrested and charged with offences ranging from money laundering to fraud.

Colfer lured his 800 victims via an online pension transfer advice website, contacting them via email and promising a cash sum of 25 per cent of the full transfer value to those who used his services. He forgot to mention income tax payable at between 40 and 55 per cent, which became a monstrous reality when all his duped clients received tax demands from HMRC after the transfers were made. Whilst his victims were attempting to sort out their financial woes, Colfer was living the luxury life of a wealthy expat in Spain and gambling away his ill-gotten gains right up until his arrest.

After previously denying any involvement in the scam, Colfer pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to two years in prison, whilst his partner was declared not guilty and acquitted of all charges. However, his prison sentence was suspended for two years, and the Regional Asset Recovery Team are now tasked with recovering all property acquired during his criminal frauds.
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