Agonising wait for victims of £5m fraudsters

Fraud victim Mary Swindlehurst of Penwortham
Fraud victim Mary Swindlehurst of Penwortham
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A victim of corrupt businessmen is facing an agonising wait to see if she can be compensated for the money she was defrauded out of.

Grandmother-of-eight Mary Swindlehurst, of Penwortham, may have to wait for over a year to find out if authorities can recoup at least some of her life savings and those of her late husband.

Terry Warrington, of Michaelson Avenue, Morecambe, is serving four and a half years for conning 128 elderly investors out of a total of more than £5m in an elaborate savings scam, while his accomplice, Malcolm Barber, 70, of Links View, Wallasey - was jailed for four years at a hearing in January.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing, which will establish how much the pair benefitted from crime, was supposed take place this September - but it has been moved to March 2015.

Mary, 65, first realised she had been scammed when her husband was in hospital. She said: “I have 
little faith we will get anything back.

“I think it’s appalling people have to wait so long to know anything.

“I find it so distressing to keep 
going over it.

“Some victims have set up a group to support each other.

For almost 25 years, Warrington, and a colleague ran an investment company offering fixed bonds and loans to hundreds of investors.

But in April 2007, the house of cards came crashing down, leaving hundreds of pensioners penniless.

Warrington and Barber 
began to trade in the 1980s, offering 
legitimate, favourable returns on capital investments and loans to high risk borrowers, using interest from loans to pay the interest on the 
capital investments.

However the companies they 
invested in were run by themselves.

They were left with nothing when the two companies, registered 
variously in the Isle of Man, 
Bahamas and Guernsey, collapsed in 2007 owing £5m.