A family of fraudsters from Middlesex and Hertfordshire pocketed more than £45million in one of the largest payroll frauds of its kind in the UK have been ordered to repay more than £16.6million.
Geoffrey Copp (left), his son Joshua (right), and his brother Andrew, were jailed in June 2017 following an investigation into their umbrella payroll companies.
The trio ran Central Payroll Specialists, which was later rebranded as Quality Premier Services, based in Croxley Heath near Rickmansworth. Over the course of three years, the Copps did not pass the VAT they received from the recruitment agencies that used their services to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
All three were convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property.
Geoffrey, 57, formerly of Holland Close, Stanmore, was jailed for 10-and-a-half years, Joshua, 26, previously of Galley Lane, Barnet, was jailed for eight years and Andrew, 52, formerly of Cardy Close, Hemel Hempstead, was jailed for nine years.
A judge agreed confiscation orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 at a hearing at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday, December 17.
Geoffrey Copp was found to have benefited from his crimes totalling to £11,535,729. His available assets were £7,761,745 and Andrew Copp was found to have benefited by £8,053,209 and had £6,461,010 in available assets. They were both ordered to pay their assets within three months or face a further nine years in prison.
Joshua Copp was found to have benefited by £9,873,513 and have £2,460,777 in available assets. He was ordered to pay his assets within three months or face a further eight years in prison.
They found £55,000 cash hidden in various places at Geoffrey’s home in Stanmore, including inside a Bentley GTC Convertible on the driveway. He also owned at least one other property in Stanmore, which was mortgage-free, a home in Malaga, and had bought three Bentley Continentals in cash between 2013 and 2015.
Detective Inspector Paul Dibell, of the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said: “This is the biggest combined confiscation order we have had as a force for a single case and sends a clear message that criminals will be made to pay for their crimes.
“The Copps ran their sophisticated scam for three years, freely spending cash meant for public services to prop up their luxury lifestyles. Their greed and dishonesty has taken money which was destined to support the running of the country and members of our society. This is not the end of this matter as a significant amount of money remains outstanding, having been spent on their lavish lifestyles.”