Weston drug dealer order to pay £114,486.04 by court

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By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, March 09, 2013, 12:15

Bristol Crown Court has ordered a Weston drug dealer to pay £114,486.04 after an investigation by Avon and Somerset Constabulary financial investigation unit.

In March 2009, following a pro-active investigation into the supply of drugs in the Weston-super-Mare area, Stephen Waters was arrested and charged for his part in a conspiracy to supply cannabis resin. 

Just under five kilograms of cannabis resin was seized during the operation with a street value of almost £14,000.

During the investigation further offences were identified involving mortgage fraud, with Waters applying for mortgages falsely claiming his wife earned £120,000 per year. 

Waters was further arrested and charged with these offences.

In September 2010, as part of a separate investigation by the South West Illegal Money Lending Team, Waters was also arrested for illegal money lending activities.

On April 26, 2011, Waters pleaded guilty to three counts of illegal money lending. 

In July he also pleaded guilty to supplying cannabis resin and the following month he pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a mortgage advance by deception.

Stephen Waters was sentenced in September 2011 and was given 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, in relation to the drugs. 

He also given six months imprisonment, suspending for 24 months, in relation to the mortgage fraud and a community sentence for the illegal money lending.

On March 1, 2013, a confiscation hearing was held at Bristol Crown Court where HHJ Longman heard evidence from the prosecution in relation to Water's assets and from Waters himself. 

On March 8, 2013 HHJ Longman ordered that Waters had benefited from crime to the value of £73,300 under the Criminal Justice Act and £1070,397.40 under the Proceeds of Crime Act. 

The judge made a Confiscation Order for £114,486.04 which represents all his assets.

If Waters does not pay the amount ordered, he will face a default sentence of two years in prison and will still owe the amount outstanding.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary financial investigation unit manager Dr Kirstie Cogram said "We are committed to seizing all assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime. It is not acceptable that criminals benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their money is taken. 

"By doing this we show criminals that they will not benefit from crime and deter others from entering a life of crime."

One in seve people knows someone living off the proceeds of crime - for more information on making criminals pay visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/payback or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org. 

They never ask for your name or trace your call.



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