Cars seized after offender fails to pay

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POLICE have seized two cars and a van from a crooked accountant whose scam saw his victims lose their own home.

For over two years, the authorities have been trying to recover over £60,000 from the ill-gotten gains of Michael Dean, from Grimsby.

Dean, who pretended to have paid the tax bill of John and Kathleen Howden, but spent it instead, was given one-year suspended prison sentence at Grimsby Crown Court in 2009, after being convicted of concealing or converting criminal property in January 2007.

In 2011 a confiscation order was made against him for £62,870, of which £12,500 was to be paid as a priority to the Howdens, with the cash coming from the equity in his house, two cars and bank accounts.

Last year he was sentenced to 20 months for failing to pay anything towards the order.

On Thursday a specialist debt agency arrived at the 58-year-old’s address on St Michael’s Road and took away a Nissan Primera, a Nissan 350x Coupe and a LDV van, estimated to be worth around £12,500.

If he fails to pay his debt within six days the vehicles will be sold at auction.

Police say Dean’s home is under a restraint order and work is on-going with the Crown Prosecution Service to seize the address.

Senior Financial Investigator Lorraine Baines said: “Mr Dean, despite numerous warnings, failed to make any payments to the court.

“He continued to live in his home with three vehicles yet the victims of his offending lost their home and suffered financial hardship.”

She said investigators were reviewing all unpaid outstanding confiscation orders, adding: “In this day and age where ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet it is galling for them to see criminals live lifestyles beyond their means.”

Anyone who knows of a similar situation should ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.