Plonkers: Real life Del Boy and Rodney who even drove Trotter van replica during their years of dodgy dealing ordered to pay back £100,000 of their ill-gotten gains

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

  By Wills Robinson

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.

Del Boy: Trevor Wales, 56, was told he must pay back more than £70,000 he made from illegal dealing
Rodney: Richard Wales arrives at Leeds Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing. He was jailed earlier for selling fake cigarettes and even buying a Del Boy three wheel van

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

Replica: Trevor Wales' 'Del Boy' three-wheeled van is parked outside his home in Leeds, West YorkshireReplica: Trevor Wales’ ‘Del Boy’ three-wheeled van is  parked outside his home in Leeds, West Yorkshire

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.

Rusting: The Reliant Robin even had the words 'Trotters Independent Traders' sprawled on the side Rusting: The Reliant Robin even had the words ‘Trotters  Independent Traders’ sprawled on the side

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.

Raid: When police searched the home, the wife and mother, Mary, had cash flowing from underneath her skirtRaid: When police searched the home, the wife and  mother, Mary, had cash flowing from underneath her skirt

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.

Characters: Delboy Trotter, played by Sir David Jason and Rodney, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, stand next to their Robin Reliant during filming for Only Fools and HorsesCharacters: Delboy Trotter, played by Sir David Jason  and Rodney, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, stand next to their Robin Reliant  during filming for Only Fools and Horses

‘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.


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