A Salford businessman involved in a huge international “advance fee” fraud has been ordered to hand over more than £40,000 cash.
A Liverpool Crown Court judge ruled that Michael Rashman had benefited by £1,542,312 but found that his realisable assets were only £42,5000.
Rashman, 55, who is currently serving a sentence of four years and nine months, was ordered by Judge Gerald Clifton to hand over the cash by September next year or he will have to serve an extra three and a half years in prison.
When he jailed him in June last year he told him: “You have tarnished the good name of British overseas trading.
“There were some 90 victims and their loss has been very considerable. The fraud brought in at least £1.5 million of which you got £500,000.
“These are very substantial sums indeed. You and your co-accused were sure that by targeting foreigners abroad they would not pursue you in the courts. Your victims were put through a significant amount of unnecessary stress.”
The judge accepted that Rashman had not played the leading role in the fraud.
After his four week trial last year, Rashman was found guilty by jury of conspiracy to defraud between January 1, 1998 and April 20, 2004.
During his trial, prosecuting QC Jonathan Turner told the court that the case involved a fraud committed by people who charged fees in advance for a service, which they had no intention of performing and did not perform.
“It went undetected for six years and many people were taken in along the way, some losing their homes and their livelihoods, some their self-respect and respect within their own communities, some their life savings and some the life savings of others who trusted them,” he said.
Two other men are serving prison terms for the offences.