Man convicted of fraud ordered to pay back £315,000 (7 Aug 2019)

A fraudster who created a number of false identities to get mortgages, open bank accounts and claim benefits has been ordered to pay back £315,000 obtained as a result of his criminality.

A contested confiscation hearing was held at Leeds Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday, 6 August) against Malcolm Leslie Forsyth from Huddersfield. Forsyth was sentenced in November 2016 to four year's imprisonment after being convicted of 15 offences of fraud.

Since then, a lengthy investigation has been carried out by financial investigators under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It was established that Forsyth had benefitted from his crimes to the value of £465,554 and had available assets of £315,000. At the hearing yesterday, he was ordered to pay back his available assets within a three month period or face a further four year jail term.

Compensation orders were granted by the court, meaning that a proportion of the £315,000 will be used to compensate the victims in this case.

Ramona Senior, Head of the Economic Crime Unit and North East Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: "At every stage, Forsyth has tried to hamper our enquiries but thanks to the thorough investigation carried out by the team we have been able to unpick his lies and ensure that he is made to pay for his crimes.

"The available assets consists of two properties, which were both owned under false identities. Forsyth claimed that both properties were legitimate and that one of the properties was actually his uncle's. The uncle was ordered to attend court to provide evidence to support this. HHJ Batiste found he has mislead the court and rejected his evidence in its entirety."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "Once again this case illustrates the great work of West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors in ensuring that crime doesn't pay. I would like to pass on my thanks to the officers and staff involved.

"An amount of this recovered money will now be put back into our communities through my Safer Communities Fund. The Fund gives grants made up from recovered proceeds of crime money to not for profit groups and organisations for various projects throughout West Yorkshire that help to keep our communities safe."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019