Lancashire army officer on fraud rap

Stoneyhurst College

Stoneyhurst College

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AN Army officer from Lancashire who defrauded taxpayers of nearly £250,000 to educate his children at a top private school has been ordered to pay back less than half the cash.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Henry Jolleys, 54, claimed £232,000 to send his three sons to the exclusive £28,000-a-year Roman Catholic Stonyhurst College in Lancashire.

He was jailed for 12 months in March last year by a judge at Swindon Crown Court who told him he had committed a “serious, substantial fraud” between 2004 and 2009.

The father-of-three, who has since been released from prison, returned to the same court for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Judge Peter Blair QC ruled that Jolleys had six months to repay £98,953.02 or face 18 months’ imprisonment.

The fraud totalled £232,143.28 – a figure Jolleys was not contesting – but he was disputing the value put on his assets, with the Crown insisting he was worth nearly £100,000 and the former soldier claiming he had £77,596.77.

Jolleys also said that his fraud conviction had made it difficult to find employment.

During his trial last year, Jolleys, who is known as Henry, kept up the elaborate charade by maintaining to his superiors that he was still married and that his wife Judith lived with him in his Army quarters when in fact they had separated.

His ruse was only rumbled when his now ex-wife rang his superior officer in the summer of 2009 and asked “Where’s Henry?”, sparking an investigation.

Jurors heard that Jolleys sent his three sons to Stonyhurst using the Army’s continuing education allowance (CEA).

Jolleys, of Woodlands Park , Whalley, near Clitheroe, used the “eye-watering” sums of money - totalling £188,060.11 - to provide a privileged education. He was convicted of three charges of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three charges of fraud and one charge of the forgery of his ex-wife’s signature on a bank form.