Man who defrauded investors in Stamford company out of £3m must pay back just £1

Alan Chandler
Alan Chandler
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A fraudster and company director who made a criminal benefit of just under £3m has been ordered to pay back just £1 by a judge.

Alan Chandler, 46, was jailed for seven years in July after he defrauded investors in his Stamford based company.

Chandler, of Torrance Drive, Melton Mowbray, persuaded a venture capital company to invest in his green energy company Soleil Holdings Ltd using a forged document to support his story that he was a multi-millionaire.

Following Chandler’s conviction for three charges of fraud an investigation was carried out to determine if he could pay any of the money back.

A Proceeds of Crime Hearing at Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Monday, October 23) that Chandler had made benefit of £2,954,597 from his crimes.

The money went on holidays, school fees and expensive cars as well as renting a farmhouse in Stamford.

But the hearing was told Chandler now had no assets and that only a “nominal” confiscation order of £1 could be made against him.

Recorder Roger Evans gave Chandler 28 days to pay the £1 sum. He will face an extra day in jail if the money is not paid.

The sentencing hearing had been told previously that Chandler falsely claimed his company was thriving when it was actually struggling.

The men behind the venture capital company were persuaded to invest more and more money on the promise that the firm was about to become a success.

But instead they lost every penny when the company finally collapsed owing debts including staff wages.

Recorder Paul Mann QC, passing sentence in July, told Chandler: “If the investors had known the truth they would have cut their losses. As it was they became sucked into making more payments as a result of your assurances. They have lost every penny they invested with you. You just fed them lies.

“You created a fictional lifestyle. In every sense of the word you have lived your life as a professional conman.”

The judge said he accepted that Soleil Holdings had the potential to become a successful business but added: “Your desire to get rich quick is one of the reasons why the business failed.”

Mr Dee said Chandler, whom the investors knew under his original name of Mark Lamb, told people his business, which grew straw and converted it into electricity, was thriving.

He obtained investment from two men from a Monaco-based venture capital company Marine Life.

They were given a series of presentations by Chandler in which he made out he was a wealthy man backed by millions of pounds of personal wealth. He supported his story with fake documents.

Greg Johnson, in mitigation, previously told the court “This was a company that was viable. It could have succeeded. He was trying to make the company succeed.”