TWO BROTHERS from Horsham have been jailed for their role in a £27.5m ‘boiler room’ fraud.
Kevin Wilmot, 43, of Langhurstwood Road, and Christopher Wilmot, 42, of St Leonards Road, were both jailed for five years while their father Tomas Wilmot, 64, of Westwood Lane, Guildford, was jailed for nine years.
They had pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiracy to defraud, but were convicted after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Prosecutors said the men ran 16 ‘boiler rooms’, where workers cold-called potential victims, between 2003 and 2008.
They sold shares to around 1,700 victims, many of them elderly or vulnerable, across the UK.
Although the shares were worth little or nothing, or in some cases did not exist at all, the gang are known to have made £27.5m, which was paid into five UK bank accounts.
About £14m was transferred from those accounts to banks in Malta, Lithuania and Spain.
Although most of the boiler rooms were based in Spain, the operation was run through companies based as far afield as Malta, Italy, Slovakia, Lithuania, Austria, Andorra, Brazil, Belize, Dubai and the Caribbean.
Their homes, together with their office in Bramley, were raided by City of London Police and Financial Services Authority investigators in May 2009.
Tomas Wilmot, described as the ringleader, gave the instructions for the boiler rooms to be set up, and acquired the shares which were sold through them.
Kevin Wilmot was involved in the day to day administration, including giving instructions to the people operating UK and offshore bank accounts for them.
Christopher Wilmot controlled a Slovakian IT company called Page Conception, that designed and hosted websites used to promote the fraud and give it a respectable front. Handwriting experts said he was responsible for forged signatures found on share transfer forms.