Fraudster found in Spain jailed for additional 23 months

Published: 23 Jul 2013 09:00

A CONVICTED fraudster who stole £70,000 to hire a Bentley before fleeing to France in a fishing boat has been imprisoned for an extra 23 months.

Share this image

A CONVICTED fraudster who stole £70,000 to hire a Bentley before fleeing to France in a fishing boat has been imprisoned for an extra 23 months.

George Schouten, 39, previously of Nine Mile Ride, Finchampstead, appeared at Reading Crown Court last Tuesday (16/7), charged with failing to appear, contempt of court, and failure to pay his confiscation order.

Schouten pleaded guilty in 2010 to three counts of fraud by false representation after he defrauded three victims of a total of £70,000.

On two occasions he told his victims he owned a show-jumping team sponsored by IBM and that he was the son, or stepson, of someone very high up in IBM.

On the other occasion he said he ran an investment programme in the import & export of microchip technology.

Property was recovered & restitution paid to two of the victims prior to his conviction of about £40,000 leaving one victim's loss of £30,000.

After his conviction, he was due to be sentenced on 30 June 2010 at the same court but failed to appear, and he was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment in his absence.

It was discovered the morning before sentencing he had sailed across to France in a hired fishing boat. A warrant for his arrest was issued.

As police had previously obtained a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) restraint order against the assets owned by Schouten, the court authorised enforcement receivers to sell any known assets in order to pay the confiscation order.

By July 2011 a substantial amount had been recovered and has subsequently been paid to the victim, leaving £6,500 outstanding.

In April 2013, police arrested Schouten in Spain and he was returned to the UK to begin his 27 month sentence for the fraud offences.

He had apparently been living and working there since he fled the country.

Schouten appeared at court last Tuesday and pleaded guilty to additional offences. For failing to appear he was sentenced to six months imprisonment and for failing to fully pay the confiscation order, he was ordered to serve two months.

Schouten also pleaded guilty to four counts of breaching the terms of his restraint order between 2009 and 2010, as he spent over £30,000 on such things as hiring a Bentley Continental car, paying for a season's polo club membership, rental on the flat he was residing in and livery of polo ponies at stables. He was therefore found in contempt of court and sentenced to 15 months imprisonment. All sentences will be served consecutively to his 27 month original sentence.

Jennifer Bailey, Financial Investigator of Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit, said: "The defendant has felt the full force of the Proceeds of Crime Act in receiving substantial sentences of imprisonment in addition to that handed down in respect of the crimes he committed.

"It serves to show that when the court makes these orders we will punish defendants for non-compliance, irrespective of the passage of time.The outstanding amount of his confiscation order remains."

Jump to first paragraph.

Get more stories from our Wokingham section

23 Apr 2014 17:30

Youngsters have fun at Easter events in Wokingham and Sindlesham

THAMES Valley Police hosted a number of community events tying in with half term featuring horses, chocolate and a helicopter.

Social: Comments0 comments

23 Apr 2014 13:00

Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee to hold question and answer session in Finchampstead

Bracknell’s MP is holding a public question and answer session.

Social: Comments0 comments

22 Apr 2014 09:15

Record number of children receive preferred school places in Bracknell and Wokingham

DESPITE rising pressure on places, there has been an increase in the number of children in Bracknell and Wokingham offered places at one of their preferred primary schools.

Social: Comments0 comments

21 Apr 2014 12:30

Blind people can save money on their TV licence

ANYBODY in Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and the surrounding area who is blind or severely sight-impaired, or lives with someone who is, can claim a 50 per cent reduction in the cost of their annual TV Licence.

Social:

20 Apr 2014 12:30

Wokingham hopefuls enter 'Dragon's Den'

BUDDING entrepreneurs pitched business ideas as part of a Dragons’ Den-style event.

Social: Comments0 comments

19 Apr 2014 09:30

Wokingham leading the charge for electric vehicles

THERE are calls for more charging points to encourage people to have electric cars.

Social: Comments0 comments

18 Apr 2014 09:30

Model fans flock to Arborfield display

FAMILIES visited a pint-sized exhibition where model trains, cars and planes were on display.

Social: Comments0 comments

17 Apr 2014 17:30

Wokingham workers are hitting the road as part of a 112 mile charity cycle ride

A TEAM of keen cyclists will pedal their way to earn cash for charity in a mammoth challenge later this month.

Social: Comments0 comments

16 Apr 2014 15:30

A Wokingham council worker is sporting a 'mankini' to raise money for charity

A council worker is donning a ‘mankini’ as part of a charity challenge.

Social: Comments0 comments

15 Apr 2014 12:30

An exhibition featuring artwork from people with dementia goes on display in Wokingham

DIGNITARIES and care home residents attended an art exhibition unveiling work by people suffering from dementia.

Social: Comments0 comments

13 Apr 2014 17:30

A Wokingham gym donates a staggering amount of food to a local foodbank

Gym members flexed their charitable muscles as they donated 1,381lbs of food for needy folk.

Social: Comments0 comments

12 Apr 2014 12:30

Thieves leave note of 'thanks' for Sindlesham car owner

CHEEKY thieves who stole a Land Rover left a note at the scene of the crime – thanking the owner.

Social: Comments0 comments

11 Apr 2014 09:30

Wokingham charity the Ollie Young Foundation has donated £4,000 to help sick children

A CHARITY set up in memory of a youngster who died from a brain tumour has donated £4,000 to help sick children.

Social: Comments0 comments

10 Apr 2014 11:00

Wokingham firefighters free boy's thumb from toy

A YOUNGSTER visited Wokingham fire station last night after he got his thumb trapped in a toy.

Social: Comments0 comments

9 Apr 2014 12:30

Police appeal for witnesses following spate of burglaries in Crowthorne, Woosehill and Wokingham

TWO men have been arrested and bailed following a spate of burglaries in Crowthorne, Woosehill and Wokingham.

Social:

8 Apr 2014 17:45

Disabled driver flown to hospital after suffering broken leg

A DISABLED driver was flown to hospital after careering off the Showcase Cinema roundabout in Winnersh this morning.

Social: Comments0 comments

8 Apr 2014 13:00

Wokingham mum clocking up the miles for charity

A mum has raised nearly £3,000 for charity after running almost 2,000 miles over the course of four years.

Social: Comments0 comments

6 Apr 2014 11:30

UPDATE: Firefighters battle major fire at Grade II listed Hurst Lodge

More than 50 firefighters are tackling a major blaze at the Grade II listed Hurst Lodge in Hurst.

Social: Comments0 comments

6 Apr 2014 09:30

Wokingham revamp of Peach Street 'eyesore' welcomed

RESIDENTS are overjoyed with plans to rid Wokingham of its ‘eyesore’ in Peach Street.

Social: Comments0 comments

6 Apr 2014 08:30

Firefighters tackle major house fire in Hurst

FIREFIGHTERS are currently tackling a major house fire in Hurst.

Social: Comments0 comments