From: Daily Mail
- Conman Trevor Wales was caught selling fake goods with son Richard
- Were jailed in 2011 for a counterfeit tobacco scam which lasted six years
- Illegal business enabled them to buy luxury properties and jet skies
- Husband and wife only had a legitimate income of £7,400
- £5,000 fell out of his wife’s underwear when police searched their house
A real-life Del Boy and Rodney, whose ill-gotten gains included an exact replica of the iconic Trotter family’s Only Fools and Horses van, have been ordered to pay back nearly £100,000 they made dealing in counterfeit goods.
Similar to the antics of the duo in the cult British sitcom, Trevor Wales, 56, was caught selling fake cigarettes with son Richard Wales, 30, acting as ‘Rodney’ in the illegal family business.
Police discovered their scam in 2011, and when they raided their house, the wife and mother of the pair, Mary Wales 55, had cash floating from her skirt because she had £5,000 stored in her underwear.
The real-life Trotters: Trevor Wales, 56 (left) and son Richard, 30, were ordered to pay back £100,000 for selling counterfeit goods in dealings similar to the ones performed by the Trotters in Only Fools and Horses
The pair were jailed in 2011 after they managed to evade paying £200,000 in duty in a six-year counterfeit tobacco scam.
Having served their sentences, they returned to Leeds Crown Court to hear how much money they would be required to pay back as part of a Proceeds of Crime Hearing.
A court heard previously how Mary, acted as the ‘banker’ of the profits – although she escaped jail with a suspended sentence.
The father and son’s shifty scheme allowed them to buy and renovate property while purchasing jet skis, luxury cars, caravans and motorbikes.
Also found at one of their properties was the famous yellow symbol of the hit TV show – a Reliant Robin complete with the logo ‘Trotters Independent Traders’.
The family, of Leeds, West Yorkshire, had cheated HMRC out of £200,000 between 2003 and 2009.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Trevor Wales benefited to the tune of £71,469, which he must pay back within six months.
His son has £21,029 available which he also has to hand over. But, the court heard, it is Mary Wales who benefited the most from the scam and must pay back £110,747 within six months or face jail.
Judge Tom Bayliss QC, said the ‘defendants have benefited from criminal conduct’ and concluded ‘this is a lifestyle case’.
The family were caught out in 2011 after officers investigating the scam turned up at their home in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Fake and genuine packets of Regal cigarettes were also found in the family home along with £16,000 in cash.
Jet skis cost the family £20,000, a Mitsubishi Shogun was also bought for the couple’s daughter.
Evidence of an extensive expenditure were found when police searched their home led to police following them to a shipping container in Selby, North Yorkshire, where they found large amounts of tobacco not available in this country.
At the hearing in 2011, Judge Rodney Grant said: ‘This is a good deal of money and that money over a period of time was used by you and members of you family to live well above your lifestyle.
‘The offences continued over a long period of time and that was an aggravating feature.’
The court also heard that Trevor and Mary had a legitimate income of only £7,400 a year while Richard did not declare any income and occasionally claimed benefits.
Sentencing Trevor to two years and three months after he admitted evading VAT on cigarettes and tobacco, he said that offences such as these are very serious.
‘I take the view that your involvement in these matters was a result of a your father’s involvement,’ added
Richard Wales was sentenced to 15 months following his guilty plea to the same offence as well as converting criminal property.
Mary Wales was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty to two offences of converting criminal property. She was also handed an 18-month supervision order and a four-month curfew.