A SUFFOLK businesswoman who funded a lavish lifestyle through scams totalling more than £9 million involving high-class cars has been jailed for six years.

Mother-of-five Kankamol Albon who lived in a magnificent £3.9 million moated house near Sudbury and educated her children at private schools defrauded investors in her prestige car business out of £7.5 million.

She also fiddled the taxman by dishonestly claiming £1.9 million in VAT repayments, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Albon, 41, of Smallbridge Hall, Bures, admitted seven offences of dishonestly making a gain by false represenation, participating in a fraudulent business and cheating the public purse.

Jailing her for six years Judge Rupert Overbury described the frauds as “massive” and said they had been designed to prop up her failing business and to maintain her “lavish” lifestyle.

He said Albon drew out £580,000 from her business in a 14 month period even though it was operating at a loss: “There were also large cash withdrawals and large expenditure on your household and credit cards.”

He added that Albon had run a Ponzi-style con where she kept some of the money she was given by clients who were persuaded to pay up front for prestige cars including Ferraris, Bentleys and Maseratis, before replacing it with funds taken from another customer.

The court heard the offences arose from Albon dealing in prestige cars in the name of her husband’s business NA Carriage Company.

Julian Christopher, prosecuting, said between July 2007 and the end of August 2008 Albon had a very high turnover in high-class cars but had sold cars for less than she paid for them and was operating at a loss.

In order to carry on trading she persuaded customers to pay up front for cars she was buying for them and to invest in other car purchases by offering them a share of the profits.

“However as her losses grew so did the need for further investors and customers,” Mr Christopher said.

“She plainly got more and more out of control and more desperate for more funds and she frequently induced customers to invest with her by making fraudulent claims,” he said.

The business had collapsed in August 2008 with losses to investors amounting to £7.5 million and Albon was arrested in February 2009.

In 2010 and 2011 while she was on bail she had fiddled the taxman by claiming £1.9 million in VAT repayments on cars she claimed she had bought.

Mr Christopher said that of 122 vehicles Albon claimed she had bought 107 of the purchases were fictitious and she had used bogus documents to support her claims.

Kevin Baumber for Albon said his client had no previous convictions and her main concern was for her children.

He said the business had been run legitimately and successfully for many years but had got into difficulties after losing several million pounds in a foreign business venture.