Jailed Leamington interior design company boss will pay back £2,000 despite ripping off customers for more than £200,000
A Leamington interior design company boss who ripped off customers and traders to the tune of more than £200,000 has assets of only £2,000 to be confiscated from her, a judge has heard.
Cheating Jane Jobson had been jailed in February last year after being convicted at Warwick Crown Court of fraudulent trading in the running of her Leamington-based design company.
Jobson, who was also found guilty of aiding and abetting her partner Terence Naylor to take part in the management of Jane Jobson (Contracts) Ltd while he was an undischarged bankrupt, was jailed for two years and three months.
A confiscation hearing against Jobson, of Browns Lane, Coventry at that time, under the Proceeds of Crime Act was adjourned for an investigation into her finances.
And at the resumed hearing, prosecutor Simon Davis said Jobson, who has been released on licence after serving half of her sentence, had a benefit of £205,000 from her illegal activity.
But her only available asset, save for property held subject of an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) to pay off debts, is a Volvo car estimated to be worth £2,000.
So Judge Andrew Lockhart QC ordered £2,000 to be confiscated from Jobson, now 56, as the proceeds of crime.
He gave her three months to pay the money or face going back to jail for four months – after which it would still be owed.
During the trial Mr Davis had said: “Miss Jobson and Mr Naylor were trading fraudulently with the intention of defrauding their customers. They offered interior design and building work, and took large deposits.
“On occasions deposits were over £10,000, so we are talking big money, and on occasions the customer got absolutely nothing or, on occasion, something, but not what they ordered.”
On the question of whether Jobson was aware of what was going on, Mr Davis said that although she was the sole director of the two companies, they were seen as joint owners, and were not just in a business relationship, but were partners at the time.
Jane Jobson (Interior Design) Ltd was incorporated in January 2011 and went into liquidation in March the following year, owing nearly £100,000.
Jane Jobson (Contracts) Ltd, was incorporated in February 2012 and wound up in January 2014, owing around £400,000.
Mr Davis said that in 2011 a ten-year lease had been signed for premises in Regent Grove, Leamington, with an annual rent of £19,500, but by July 2013 the landlords were owed £32,000.
The shop was fitted to a high standard to provide comfort and ‘an air of respectability,’ but invoices from suppliers which included the Polished Floor Company in Regent Street went unpaid.
With many disgruntled customers, Naylor attended a county court hearing to face a creditor’s claim, before the company went into liquidation and re-emerged as Jane Jobson (Contracts) Ltd.
But a further succession of customers paid deposits and payments ranging from £10,000 to as much as £27,000 in one case, and £58,000 in another, for work including kitchens, bathrooms and extensions which were never completed.
Mr Davis told the jury: “Both defendants were equal trading partners in the company, and both knew what the other was doing. They were taking large deposits and there were subsequent failures to order goods or do work.”
Naylor, then 55, of Naylor Crescent, Nantwich, Cheshire, had pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and taking part in the management of both companies while an undischarged bankrupt – but committed suicide before he could be sentenced.