Courts hit fraudster with £ 1million over refund order

Saturday 11 September 2021

A fraudster who has been sentenced to more than a decade in prison after defrauding his victims with hundreds of thousands of pounds has been warned he could face five more years if he does not return the money.

At Leeds Crown Court on Thursday 9 September, Peter Adrian Dilenardo, 52, of Burley in Wharfedale was ordered to pay back nearly £ 1.2million

Just over £ 750,000 was found to have been received as a result of the frauds for which he was convicted by Leeds Crown Court in June 2019.

The court heard he had around £ 515,000. Failure to repay this money within three months will see him sentenced to an additional five years.

The total debt owed (approximately £ 1,195,000) will not be settled until fully repaid. This means that if Dilenardo were to earn extra money, he would have to pay off any outstanding debt.

West Yorkshire Police will file a claim for compensation from its victims.

During his trial in 2019, the court heard that Dilenardo was previously an independent financial advisor authorized to provide investment advice to clients regarding products regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

This authority, however, ended on February 13, 2014 – something his victims who had previously dealt with him as a regulated adviser – were unaware of, but he continued to advise his clients, advising them to withdraw funds from them. regulated products and invest them. in a company that belongs to him. He was the sole signatory of the company’s bank account and in total his clients paid the company £ 426,000.

On June 4, 2019, he was sentenced to 10 years and three months after being convicted of eight offenses including breach of trust scam and false statement scam after a 9-week trial.

Ramona Senior heads the Force’s Economic Crimes Unit.

“Dilenardo was sentenced in 2019 after a long trial and a very difficult investigation.

“He duped a number of people with large sums of money and showed no remorse for his actions and the consequences thereof. Many people have suffered from financial hardship and stress.

“And now, not only does he have a long prison sentence to serve, but he incurs additional sentence if he doesn’t pay it back. The outstanding debt remains for life and will be subject to rigorous review and enforcement.

“I hope this order will at least give its victims a closure after what has been, for many, a very traumatic ordeal.”

And the following tips have been offered to anyone considering making an investment.

• If you are considering any type of investment, always remember: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

• Check the credentials of the company or person you are dealing with and do not accept transactions right away. Take the time to review an offer and seek independent advice. Be especially careful when investing your money in land, carbon credits, wine, or jewelry / precious metals.

• Make sure all the sites you invest in are genuine. Visit the Financial Conduct Authority’s ScamSmart site for advice on safe investing.

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