TONI Muldoon and his gang have been jailed for their involvement in a €6.6 million escort and debt recovery scam.
He was told by judge Rupert Overbury at Ipswich Crown Court that he was a “thoroughly dishonest, manipulative and mean individual”.
The Costa del Sol-based gang conned people into signing up to act as ‘non-sexual’ companions with the promise of earning up to €700 a day. Some 14,000 people paid between £250 and £400 to register but never received any work.
About 3,300 others gave between £540 and £2,000 to be part of a scheme which claimed to write off credit agreements.
The case, investigated by Suffolk Trading Standards over three years, turned into the biggest of its kind ever taken on by a local authority.
The judge said Muldoon, who was based in Spain, was the “architect” of the scams but the others had played “vital roles without which these schemes could not have succeeded”.
Muldoon was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
Former West Yorkshire Police detective Christopher Taylor was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for money laundering. The judge said he had sacrificed his “reputation and good name” for money.
Bradley Rogers, 29, from Malaga, was jailed for two years and 10 months after being found guilty of money laundering.
Both Rogers and Taylor had been cleared of conspiracy to defraud.
Mark Bell, Colin Samuels and Geraldine French from Spain, were each found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to defraud. Bell was sentenced to six years and six months, Samuels to five years and six months and French to six years and five months.
Jeffrey Owens was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Efforts will now be made to seize the gang’s assets through the courts.
Television producers, Tiger Aspect Productions, are now set to make a documentary on the mega-scam while all six involved are due to be sentenced in July.