MEMBERS of a gang who pocketed tens of thousands of pounds they claimed to be collecting for Help for Heroes have been ordered to pay back as little as £1 each.
The fraudsters registered with the charity to get their hands on paraphenalia which would convince the public they were legitimate collectors.
They then targeted football stadiums including the Stadium of Light, concert halls, public events, train stations and bars across the north of England.
Thousands of innocent members of the public handed over their hard-earned cash to the scamsters in the belief they were helping a worthy cause.
Prosecutors believe the scam made £45,000 in just three months.
Four of the fraudsters were at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
It was agreed Jacqueline Newnham, Ellen Grant, Lydia Cummerson and Natalie Hornby made a total benefit of £15,800, or £3,950 each, in the scam.
But as Grant, Cummerson and Hornby have no assets Judge Brian Forster could order them to pay back just a single pound each.
Newnham, who does have access to cash, was ordered to pay back the full figure of £3,950.
At the sentencing hearing last year Judge Brian Forster said the fraud was a “scandal and a disgrace”.
Hornby, 39, of Railway Cottages, Nunthorpe, was jailed for 30 months.
She was convicted by a jury of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Newnham, 57, of Linden Way, Droylsdon, Manchester, pleaded guilty to the charge and was jailed for 16 months.
Grant, 45, of Albert Avenue, Prestwich, Manchester, was found guilty by a jury and jailed for 15 months.
Cummerson, 41, of Falconwood Chase, Boothstown, Salford, was also convicted by a jury and jailed for 12 months.
Robert Hornby admitted a minor part in the fraud and was given a four-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, with supervision.
The Proceeds of Crime Act application against him was discontinued.
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