Princess Yachts fraudsters sentenced to 14 years in jail

A combined sentence of 14 years has been handed down to the three men convicted of defrauding Princess Yachts of more than £1m

An elaborate plot to defraud Princess Yachts of more than £1m has resulted in three men being given a combined jail sentence of almost 14 years.

Glyn Thompson, Roger Truen and Darren Tallon were sentenced at Plymouth Crown Court today, bringing a lengthy trial to an end.

The court heard how Thompson and Truen handled cash bribes and awarded valuable contracts to third party construction companies that never carried out any work.

John Tinley and Michael Honey, directors of EFS, were given 14-month sentences that were suspended for two years after both men pleaded guilty and gave evidence against their co-conspirators.

When Tinley and Honey pulled EFS out of the scam, Tallon stepped in to assume the role of the third-party contractor under the name of Construction Solutions South West.

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The inflated invoices were charged to Princess Yachts for three years before an internal whistleblower alerted senior management to the scam in July 2013.

Prosecutors claim that the loss to the company was more than £1million and whilst Judge Pail Darlow did not confirm this figure, he estimated that it was at least £629,000.

Princess complete the first 40M hullThompson, 54, was described as the mastermind of the plot and was handed a six-year jail sentence. Tallon was jailed for four years and six months, while Truen’s sentence totals three years and four months.

Judge Darlow concluded: “You were able to plunder the company for money having done nothing or very little to earn it.”

Speaking of Thompson in particular, he added: “You were clearly top man in this conspiracy. You come before this court as a man of good character. Your reputation lies in tatters.”

Thompson, Truen and Tallon pleaded innocent to the charges, but were found guilty by a jury in January, following an eight-week trial.

All five men will now face further court hearings under the Process of Crime Act to determine which of their assets can be seized and sold off to pay back their ill-gotten gains.

Princess Yachts employs around 2,000 staff across five sites and chief executive Chris Gates took the stand to give evidence during the trial.

He insisted that the company was “frugal” and likes “to keep an eye on every penny we spend” despite having a turnover of close to £500m pounds.


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