Proceeds of Crime hearing orders former company directors to pay over £1 million
Two former directors of atransport company have been order to pay £1,680,282.00 by HH Judge Hughesfollowing a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing at Carlisle Crown Court.
On 25 March 2013, 67 year oldPatrick James Boyle and 38 year old Mark Anthony Boyle, who are both fromNewry, Northern Ireland and former Directors of Boyle Transport Limited, werefound to have benefitted from their criminality to the sum of £10,016,810.
Patrick James Boyle has beengiven six months to pay £1,097,622.00, if the money is not paid in that time hewill have to serve an extra five and a half years prison sentence.
Mark Anthony Boyle has beengiven six months to pay £582,660.00, if the money is not paid in that time hewill have to serve an extra four years prison sentence. Assets held from whichthe money is to be paid includes family homes, 20 Scania trucks and 35articulated trailers.
On 2 May 2012 Patrick Boyle andMark Boyle were handed two year and 18 month sentences respectively at CarlisleCrown Court, after they pleaded guilty to conspiring with drivers to make thefalse tachograph records on 18 February 2011.
They were also disqualifiedfrom acting as company directors, which included having any management positionwithin a company, for a period of five years.
On October 2008, a jointintelligence-led investigation into Boyle Transport Ltd named OperationCadillac began, conducted by Cumbria Constabulary and VOSA. It became one of thelargest investigations ever conducted by Cumbria's Roads Policing Unit or VOSA.
A total of 18,000 documentswere reviewed as part of the in-depth investigation that took place over thecourse of a year. It was revealed that each digital tachograph owned by thecompany had been interfered with and the drivers had, in fact, been driving upto 22 hours per day (the law states the maximum should be 10 per day) andfailing to take their lawful breaks.
During the criminal investigation, a POCA investigation wascarried out by Tim Parker from VOSA in conjunction with the North West RegionalAsset Recovery Team. His attention to detail has led to the agreement in courtover the criminal benefit and confiscation figures.
Sergeant Graeme Hodgson said:"This was one of the largest investigations ever undertaken by CumbriaConstabulary Roads Policing Unit and the confiscation order imposed by the HHJudge Hughes today means that we have been able to seize money which the Boylesacquired through their criminality.
"These two company directorsplaced people's lives in danger by manipulating their staff into taking seriousrisks on the road by having them driving for up to 22 hours a day- placingtheir own staff and innocent road users in significant danger of being involvedin a collision. This work practice enabled them to undercut deliveries on costand time, and placed pressure on struggling competitors who were trying to workwithin the law. In an audit 91% of journeys involving Boyle Transport trucksand drivers had some form of manipulation or falsification hiding the truedriving and hours worked.
"Our investigations don't endonce sentenced at court. A significant amount of work was undertaken to examinethe assets of the Boyles, which established that they had benefited from theircriminality by £10,016,810 and by being ordered to pay £1,680,282 back ensuresthat they will not return to the lifestyle they were acquainted with.
"At the heart of thisinvestigation is not the desire to simply punish two individuals, but to send amessage to all sectors of the haulage industry that we can and will reach thosewho force drivers to break the law by manipulation and coercion, by paysanctions and by the threat of losing their jobs if they don't comply withunlawful orders. This is a simple matter of making the roads safer for everyonewho uses them.
"It's very simple, crimedoesn't pay and police and VOSA will continue to ensure that criminals aretargeted and any financial gain they make as a result of their crimes isseized.”
Heather Cruickshank, VOSA'sOperations Director added: "Operators and drivers should be in no doubt that ifthey choose to work outside the law there will be serious financialconsequences as this case highlights. VOSA's number one priority is road safetyand our investigators will always seek to take robust action against those whorisk the lives of other road users through arrogance or just blatantly ignoringthe rules.”
Source: Cumbria Police
Story By: Bob Thompson
Date : 27-03-2013