Brighouse Ponzi scheme accountant must pay £90,000

Richard Pollett
Richard Pollett

A former accountant who helped Brighouse fraudster John Hirst to swindle ex-pat investors out of millions of pounds has been ordered to pay back more than £90,000 in compensation to their victims.

Hirst, 61, of Huddersfield Road, was jailed last August for nine years after he funded a lavish lifestyle in Majorca through his £10 million Ponzi investment scheme.

Accomplice Richard Pollett, from Poole in Dorset, was jailed for six-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud and today he was brought back to Bradford Crown Court from prison so that a judge could make a confiscation order against him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

An investigation into the 71-year-old’s financial affairs resulted in a benefit figure from criminal conduct of £990,369.73, but the court heard he now only has available assets worth £90,714.42.

It is understood that the assets in Spain relate to money from the sale of property and other items such as a car, a wrist watch and a timeshare.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC agreed to make the confiscation order against Pollett on the basis that the money recovered would then be used to pay some compensation to the victims of the Ponzi fraud.

The money will have to be paid over within three months or Pollett could face an additional 20 months in custody.

The court heard that Hirst and his 61-year-old former wife Linda, who was jailed for two-and-a-half years for money laundering, are due to be back at the crown court in December for their proceeds of crime hearing.

Hirst and his former wife, of Woking, Surrey, enjoyed luxury holidays and lavish wedding celebrations in Las Vegas and Majorca with some of their ill-gotten gains.