A HEARTLESS businessman who fleeced an elderly chartered accountant out of more than £400,000 has been ordered to pay just £21,000 in compensation.
But even that is more than the £3,000 Kevin Franklin’s victim had expected to get back – until Warwickshire Police’s financial investigators discovered two further amounts.
Earlier this year Warwick Crown Court heard how Franklin lived the high life while his 80-year-old victim ended up scraping round to pay for a bottle of milk.
The 58-year-old, who ran the restaurant at Wootton Park campsite in Wootton Wawen, near Henley, was jailed for four-and-a-half years in March after pleading guilty to fraud and obtaining money transfers by deception.
And following an adjournment for his finances to be investigated, he appeared in court again via a video link from prison.
Prosecutor Simon Hunka said it was agreed Franklin’s benefit from his offences was a total of £401,210.47, which came following the deduction of around £3,000 in relation to jewellery he had given his wife.
But the value of the jewellery still formed part of Franklin’s ‘available assets’ of £21,258.77.
It was initially believed to be his only asset – until police financial investigators uncovered two small pension plans.
So Judge Alan Parker formally found that Franklin had a benefit of £401,210.47 from his offences, and ordered £21,258.77 to be confiscated from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
During the original hearing the court was told Franklin, of Westgrove Avenue, Shirley, Solihull, was running the restaurant when he was introduced to his victim in 2005.
At the time, the Birmingham-based accountant had been looking towards semi-retirement but agreed to lend Franklin £15,000 for a refurbishment at the restaurant after being shown books, which appeared to show the business was making £60,000 a year.
He next had a call asking for £458 from Franklin, who said bailiffs were about to remove furniture if they were not paid.
And having provided the £15,000, the accountant then felt duty-bound to help out of fear that Franklin would lose his business and he would not get his money back.
As the amount he handed over became larger, he became trapped in a growing spiral while Franklin continually blamed others for his financial problems.
He came up with a string of stories including that his sister had died in Canada and he needed to sort out her estate to get his share of what their father had left him.
He then claimed he had been stopped by US border officials who had seized the cash from him and had prevented him leaving.
But in fact he had been using the money to fund his own lavish lifestyle, including paying for his wedding and honeymoon in the Italian Alps.