Crooked caravan boss ordered to pay back £2,000
A CARAVAN company boss who swindled customers and an insurance company out of tens of thousands of pounds will only pay £2,000 from his ill-gotten gains.
Shaun Cole, aged 46, pocketed £72,740 by trading fraudulently, Plymouth Crown Court heard. The 46-year-old was jailed for 31 months just over a year ago.
But the court was told his "realisable" assets amounted to just £2,000.
Cole sold caravans and pocketed the money without telling the owners before his business went bust.
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The former boss of Plymouth Caravan Centre in Newnham Road, Plympton, also told vendors their caravans had been sold for a lesser price and pocketed the difference himself.
He also overcharged customers for the servicing of their vehicles and inflated an insurance claim following damage to 14 caravans.
Cole, of Lamorna Park, Torpoint, last year admitted 13 charges of fraud between January and October 2007.
He returned to court having recently finished his jail sentence.
His barrister Deni Matthews said he was on a home detention curfew.
But he added that he was unable to work in the caravan or retail trade under his licence conditions.
Mr Matthews said he also had trouble claiming benefits because of a previous failure to pay National Insurance contributions.
He added the police had agreed that he only had £2,000 he could pay back.
Jason Beal, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the money would be split pro-rata between the losers.
The court heard last year that vendors lost sums ranging from £561 to £9,000. The insurance company lost almost £11,0000.
Judge Paul Darlow granted a confiscation order for £2,000 and gave Cole six months to find the money.