Saunders and Strubel have been ordered to pay £5,262,301 and £2,131,362 respectively. The SFO said these totals represent the full realisable assets from their “criminal benefit for conspiracy to defraud”.
Saunders and Strubel “enticed” wealthy individuals from within their community to invest in Saunders Electrical Wholesale, which they claimed was a successful supplier of electrical goods to hotel chains and the Olympic Village.
Once paid, all of this money will be distributed as compensation to victims, many of whom were vulnerable people from within the fraudsters’ own communities. Investors had parted with tens of thousands of pounds, with some investing their life savings in the fraudulent scheme.
Saunders pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of acting as a director of a company whilst disqualified. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to defraud and one year, to run concurrently, for acting as a director whilst disqualified.
In February 2015, Michael Strubel was tried and found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to defraud, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Saunders faces a nine year prison sentence if he fails to pay the amounts within three months, with Strubel facing a seven and a half year prison sentence if he fails to pay the amount within three months.
Lisa Osofsky, director of the SFO, said: “This is an excellent result, capitalising on the convictions in the 2015 trials to ensure fraudsters don’t profit from their crimes. Our Proceeds of Crime team have worked tirelessly on this case and these confiscation orders are a testament to their hard work.”