Serious Fraud Office
‘Phoenix’ companies fraudster sentenced to additional three years
Christopher Woodhead, the creator of ‘phoenix’ companies used to steal more than £433,000 from customers, had his default prison sentence of three years activated by the court yesterday for failure to pay a £428,089.16 confiscation order.
Christopher Woodhead, 64, formerly of Leeds, has failed to pay any of the confiscation order originally imposed on him at Southwark Crown Court on 10 September 2004. Leeds Magistrates’ Court activated the default three year sentence yesterday and Christopher Woodhead will remain liable for the confiscation order which currently amounts to £848,156.05 due to accumulated interest.
Woodhead set up various companies between March 1998 and February 1999 to systematically steal from companies supplying Yorkshire householders with wall coating products. Woodhead used the stolen money to fund his personal lifestyle including to buy a Range Rover, property and to pay for domestic expenses.
Woodhead absconded prior to the trial and was found guilty and sentenced in his absence. The confiscation process was also dealt with in his absence. There is an active European Arrest Warrant out for Christopher Woodhead’s arrest and the SFO will now apply to remit the case to HMCTS to enforce.
A press release on Woodhead’s conviction and sentencing details can be found here.
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