A father and son jailed for offering illegal loans and betting facilities from their Preston homes are fighting a bid to take almost £20,000 from them.
James Alston Snr, 74, and ex-boxer James Alston Jnr, 45, who are both serving jail terms, appeared by video link at Preston Magistrates Court.
They were jailed for 18 months and 12 months respectively after a jury found them guilty of a total of 10 charges relating to the provision of illegal loans, cash and gambling facilities, following a probe by Lancashire Trading Standards and the Gambling Commission.
Preston Magistrates Court heard an application by the Gambling Commission to forfeit £19.400 cash found in the men’s homes during a probe into their activities.
But the case has been adjourned until January 3 after both men contested the case.
During their trial at Preston Crown Court, the jury heard how a total of £19,000 cash was found between the men’s homes in Miller Gardens, Preston, and Westleigh Road, Ashton, along with detailed ledgers outlining loans and bets which had been placed illegally. Alston Snr also had a bet settling machine and three televisions tuned into horse racing channels.
In total they had an estimated 60 ‘clients’, most of them living in the Ashton area of Preston.
Previously their trial heard while it was not possible to be exact about the money that passed through the pair’s books, an expert estimated Alston Snr made more than £100,000 profit from illegal activities, while his son – who was out of work and claiming benefits – profited to the tune of £17,000.
The court was told that the Alstons had operated in the “shadows of the economy” providing credit and cash to vulnerable members of the community.
Tom Gilbart, defending Alston Jnr, said his client did not deliberately target vulnerable members of the community, in the majority of cases lending to friends and associates.
Alston Snr was described as a “useful member of the community, charming and engaging.”