'Britain's worst boss' who refused to pay staff wages bragged about buying mansion from Leeds United star

A businessman dubbed 'Britain’s worst boss' who bullied staff and refused to pay their wages while boasting about his wealth has been ordered to pay £90,000 or face 12 months in prison.

John Gaines, 74, swindled workers after winning lucrative contracts and defrauding security operatives who worked for him.

If his workers complained about not being paid, Gaines threatened them with the sack and racially abused others, a court heard.

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One man lost his house because he could not pay the rent, while another was forced to sleep rough near Heathrow because he had no money to travel home at night.

John Gaines, 74, swindled workers after winning lucrative contracts and defrauding security operatives who worked for him.

Gaines deployed Security Industry Authority security guards to a number of locations, including construction sites belonging to Heathrow Airport and Tesco.

He defrauded 21 employees out of wages totalling £58,140 on contracts which won him around £500,000.

All the while, Gaines boasted about buying the mansion of a former football star from Leeds United. Gaines ran seven companies under four identities to give the illusion his company was bigger.

He was jailed for four years and eight months in 2019 after he was found guilty of 22 fraud charges at Warwick Crown Court.

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Gaines, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire,, was back in court on Friday (January 21) for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.

He was ordered to have assets worth £91,934 confiscated, with £58,140 of it being used to pay compensation to those he cheated.

If he fails to pay the money in the next three months he will face a further year behind bars.

Judge Anthony Potter had told him: “The frauds were perpetrated over an almost four-year period, and they stretched from Cheshire in the north to Heathrow in the south.

“This was an exploitation of vulnerable individuals for profit. None of your staff were provided with anything approaching a proper contract or uniform or equipment.

“All of this is against the background of bank accounts you held over this period of time being credited with something just over £500,000.

“So you were not a man who, at this time, was short of money.

“If staff raised concerns about payment they were threatened with the sack and, in the case of those from ethnic minorities, met with racial abuse.

“I consider that what you express is not genuine remorse, but regret for the effect the offending has had on your life."

Judge Anthony Potter heard how Gaines did not provide staff with a proper contract, uniform or equipment.

During his 2019 trial Gaines was forced to defend himself after sacking his barrister.

On Friday, Anne-Marie Critchley, defending, said: “He now expresses some remorse.”