Sunderland scammer ordered to repay more than £1million could face further six years behind bars
A Sunderland scammer ordered to repay more than £1million has been told by a judge he must pay £800,000 within three months or he faces another six years in prison.
In 2017, Neil Stanley Dunningham was sentenced to 30 months in jail when he admitted six counts of money laundering.
It followed a complex fraud which uncovered how the 50-year-old and fellow crook and surveyor, David Ager, syphoned a total of £1,277,014.21 from engineering company, Sir Robert McAlpine, over a two-and-a-half-year period.
Now a Newcastle Crown Court judge has ordered Dunningham to repay a total of £1,015,363.97 during a hearing on Monday, April 26.
Judge Earl ordered £800,000 to be paid within three months or Dunningham, of Sunderland Road, will face a further six years in prison.
Thousands of pounds from the scammer’s bank accounts has been seized and his house sold after he used the fraudulent funds to pay off the mortgage.
Dunningham’s criminal benefit amounted to £665,634.21.
Following an investigation by Durham Constabulary and the CPS – which took almost five years – more criminal funds were established with a confiscation order made against Dunningham of £1,015,363.97.
Durham Constabulary Financial Investigator, John Foreman, said: “This has been an arduous and difficult case to investigate and prosecute from the outset, resulting in the necessity to carry out a thorough financial investigation into the financial affairs of Dunningham and his company which has spanned a number of years.
“The company has suffered substantial losses and there is great satisfaction in exposing the full extent of Dunningham’s criminal lifestyle has been fully established and his criminally obtained assets taken from him.”
Dunningham’s accomplice Ager, of Parkside, Spennymoor, was sentenced to three years in prison for his part in the scam.
The 38-year-old has since paid back £402,659.12 of a total of £1,424,480.80 he was ordered to repay.
Ben Reid, Specialist Prosecutor of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Neil Dunningham fought to reduce the amount of money that he would pay but, through close and extensive work with the police over a number of years, we were able to ensure that Dunningham could not benefit from his criminal behaviour.”