A South Shields gang, who admitted charges of conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to steal at Newcastle Crown Court in December, have been ordered to pay just £1 each after stealing thousands of pounds from vulnerable people throughout the North East.
The organised criminals posed as police detectives to trick their victims and even kidnapped one individual in order to extort more money from her parents.
In another incident, the gang took £25,000 of life savings from an elderly lady who had suffered a stroke. The 68 year old pensioner had saved the money for over 30 years.
Paul Momat, Carl Hudson, Gareth Carey and Simon Lancaster were sentenced to four years in jail last December and it is believed that they benefited from a total of nearly £40,000 from their scam.
Despite the callousness of their crimes, the gang have been ordered to pay only £1 each.
Prosecutor James Adkin, at a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing on Tuesday, said,
Mamot benefitted from this offending in the sum of £39,700. You will see from the documentation, that the available amount is set to be £1.
I would invite you to make a confiscation order for £1.
The defendant Lancaster was only involved in one event, his benefit is £4,500.
The available amount is again £1, I would invite you to make an order for £1
It is believed that Paul Mamot was the ring leader who controlled the scam from a distance, allowing the others to work on the ground.