A couple of British twins, dubbed the “fraud brothers,” will be spending time behind bars after being sentenced on a fraud charges.
Paul Aspden, 54, pleaded guilty to a fraud charge, related to a scam involving a phony Bulgarian investment.
His twin brother, Peter, pleaded guilty to “Making a false and Misleading Statement as to Services,” as reported by the Scarborough News (UK).
The scam victimized involved 72 investors, who lost approximately £1.6m ($2.7 million U.S.).
According to the Scarborough News report, the Aspdens scamed their victims by persuading them to invest in real estate developments in Bulgaria, and Cape Verde,
The money, the fraud brothers told their victims, would go to developments in Bulgaria and Cape Verde, a former Portuguese colony off the west coast of central Africa. The Aspdens told the investors they already owned the land, according to the Scarborough News report.
Instead, the Aspdens used the money to buy the land itself.
When investors inquired after their investments, the fraud brothers rebuffed them by telling the work on the development was not being done satisfactorily.
One of the prosecutors in the trial, Andrew Haslem, said of the Aspdens, “Both defendants mislead customers as to the true position of the ownership of the land. The reality of the situation was that their money went to buy the land on which their property was to be built.”’
The sentencing judge, called a “Recorder,” in the U.K.), Robin Mairs said Paul Aspdens: “Your recklessness was at the extreme end of the scale. You showed calculated and persistent dishonesty over an extended period.”
Paul Aspden who owned 75% of the company, Independent Property Consultants Limited (IPC), through which the fraud was perpetrated, was sentenced to 42 months in prison.
The other ‘fraud brother’, Peter, who owned the remaining 25% of IPC, received 10 months in prison.