Suffolk fraudster has confiscation order reduced from £180,000 to £8,000 on appeal

Christopher Boughton-Fox

Christopher Boughton-Fox - Credit: � ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHI

A former company boss convicted in a large-scale fraud case has won his appeal against a judgement which said his criminal benefit was £1.3million.

Schools, charities and businesses in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex were duped out of thousands of pounds in what Ipswich Crown Court was told was a £1m telecoms fraud.

In 2011 the boss of Great Yarmouth-based Business Telecom Ltd, Christopher Boughton-Fox, and his sales manager, Jonathan Parrish, were both found guilty of conspiracy to defraud customers over a five-year period from 2003.

Boughton-Fox, 52, of Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew, was jailed for seven years and Parrish, of The Hills, Reedham, received five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

In March 2012 at a proceeds of crime hearing the crown court heard Boughton-Fox’s benefit from his crime amounted to £1.3m. At the time his assets came to £179,000 and a confiscation order was made for that amount.

However, Boughton-Fox contested the amounts and has taken the matter to the Court of Appeal where judges agreed the order was incorrect.

A judgment was made in his favour reducing the benefit figure to £7,900. Accordingly the confiscation order has also been reduced to £7,900.

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During a 10-week trial Ipswich Crown Court heard salesmen from Business Telecom Ltd persuaded customers to sign contracts for new telephone systems.

Although they were told a cashback scheme meant the phones were free, customers were signing up for expensive leasing agreements typically costing between £10,000 and £35,000 over seven or more years.

Among the schools, companies and organisations which were conned were Rattlesden Primary School, West Row Primary School, and Pot Kiln Primary School, Sudbury.