1. ITV Report

Two jailed for 'elaborate' pension scam

Anthony Locke jailed for 'elaborate pension scam' Photo: Dorset Police

Two men have been jailed following an elaborate pensions scam in Dorset.

Known as 'pension liberation', the offences occurred between September 2013 and April 2014.

Anthony Locke, who's 33 and of Haslemere Avenue in Christchurch, and his employee Ray King - who's 54 and from Ashley Road in Poole - misled sixteen victims into transferring their pension pot into an arrangement they were told would allow them to access half their funds before the age of 55.

The victims were also promised the other half of the money would be re-invested.

However, such an arrangement before the age of 55 would usually attract an income tax liability of 55 per cent of the entire amount.

The total pension pot was £971,530.80, with around 50 per cent of this returned to the victims and the other half supposedly being re-invested.

Rather than re-investing the money, Locke used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, spending the money on expensive cars, holidays and clothing. He spent more than £230,000 buying two Audi cars, a Mercedes, Aston Martin, Porsche and a Lamborghini Gallardo.

“Locke was the architect of a callous and sophisticated fraud with King as his employee. Between September 2013 and April 2014 Locke obtained almost £1 million from various pension companies, which represented the ‘pension pots’ of the victims in this case.

Locke then credited approximately half these funds to the victims who had joined his non-existent occupational pension scheme, telling them that the other half would be invested. However, there was no investment and by far the lion’s share of these funds was retained by Locke who spent the money on expensive cars and general living expenses.

Not only have the victims lost half their pensions but now may face financial penalties from HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) who will want to recover the lost tax revenue."

– Investigating Officer Paul Sullivan, Dorset Police

Locke was found guilty of 23 counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of money laundering. King was found guilty of 14 counts of fraud by false representation, following a six-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.

Locke was sentenced to five years in prison and King handed a three-year jail term.

A timetable was set out for Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings in relation to the recovery of funds from the defendants.

"The sentences imposed today send out a clear message to fraudsters who perpetrate these types of offences.”

– Investigating Officer Paul Sullivan, Dorset Police