1. ITV Report

Fake bomb detector seller to serve longer sentence

James McCormick was due to be released from Dartmoor soon. Credit: ITV West Country

The Somerset fraudster behind a fake bomb detector business, James McCormick, received a default sentence of 842 days in prison last Friday (April 20) for failing to forfeit cash and assets worth nearly £8m. He'll have to serve another two years in jail.

McCormick, 62, who's from Langport and was due to be released from HMP Dartmoor soon, appeared at North Somerset Magistrates' Court via video link where he refused to meet a £1.8m shortfall.

At the hearing, the court stated that McCormick benefited to the sum of £21,354,169.79 from his fraudulent offending. Assets including property in Somerset, vehicles, a luxury yacht and a flat in Bath have been seized, as well as more than £4m held in bank accounts.

A total of nearly £2.6m in compensation has been handed over to countries affected by the fraud, including Bahrain, Republic of Georgia, Republic of Iraq and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

McCormick was sentenced to 10 years following an extensive investigation by Avon and Somerset Police.

When McCormick was sentenced both the judge and senior officer made reference to his ‘obscene’ and ‘outrageous profits’ and ‘greedy, extravagant lifestyle’.

Following Avon and Somerset’s successful criminal investigation, our team has worked on an international basis to seize money and assets from him, and based on his refusal to meet the shortfall last Friday, this work will continue.

It’s worth remembering, too, that lives were undoubtedly lost as a result of McCormick’s bogus bomb detectors.

– DI Peter Highway, Criminal Finance Team
James McCormick will have to serve a longer sentence for failing to forfeit cash and assets. Credit: Avon and Somerset Police

The CPS analysed McCormick’s finances and found he obtained more than £21m from his criminal conduct. The Proceeds of Crime team identified assets including property in England and overseas as well as hidden assets of almost £2m resulting in his £7,944,834 confiscation order.

McCormick failed to repay the order in full, so the CPS returned the case to court. The court ruled that his default sentence of 842 days should be activated, meaning he must serve a longer custodial sentence.

– Nick Price, Head of CPS Proceeds of Crime