Four appellants conspired to defraud banks and others. The prosecution alleged a sophisticated and well organised conspiracy involving the appellants and others. Mail was redirected to addresses to which the conspirators had access. Credit cards so received would be used until the credit card limit had been reached. Fingerprint and handwriting evidence revealed the links between the conspirators. The appellant Jayne Gibbons in interview had said that she had filled out redirection applications and credit card applications. The appellants’ appeals against conviction were dismissed, the court observing that the evidence against each of them was overwhelming and the verdicts of the jury were no surprise to the court. Jayne Gibbons appealed against the confiscation order made against her. She was the only appellant who had not received a sentence of imprisonment, the judge taking what the court described as a merciful course solely because she was pregnant at the time of sentence. There could be no doubt that she played her part in the conspiracy and she had admitted her involvement to a certain extent in interview. The trial judge, in assessing the benefit obtained as a result of the criminal conduct, looked first at the total amount obtained as a result of the conspiracy, which was just over andpound;225,000. The prosecution said that it was impossible to calculate the full amount by which each individual had benefited personally. They suggested that the total should be divided between the four conspirators who had been convicted. The trial judge had rejected a submission that the starting point for individual defendants should be the personal gain to each individual conspirator.
Held: The court, considered two first instance decisions. In R. v. Rees, the defendant was the only person before the court but a number of people had been involved in the criminal enterprise of obtaining mortgage funds by deception contrary to section 15 of the Theft Act 1968. Auld J, as he then was, held that the defendant’s benefit was the whole amount obtained even though the defendant insisted that he personally did not receive all the money. The decision turned in part on the provisions of section 15(2) of the Theft Act 1968. In R. v. Gokal, the defendant was convicted of an offence to which section 15 of the Theft Act did not apply. It involved a deception of the auditors of BCCI in concealing a number of substantial loans made to a group of companies run by the defendant. Buxton J, as he then was, considered that Rees was confined to its own facts and to an offence under section 15 of the Theft Act. He held that the phrase ‘if he obtains’ in section 71(4) of the 1988 Act imports an obtaining by the defendant himself.
 EWCA Crim 3161
England and Wales
Distinguished – Abbas Kassimali Gokal v Serious Fraud Office CA 16-Mar-2001
The defendant was convicted of an offence to which section 15 of the Theft Act did not apply. It involved a deception of the auditors of BCCI in concealing a number of substantial loans made to a group of companies run by the defendant. Buxton J had . .
Cited – Olubitan v Regina CACD 7-Nov-2003
The defendant appealed against a confiscation order. He had used a company to defraud suppliers on the continent of substantial sums. He said that his involvement in the conspiracy was only toward the later end and that he had received no benefit in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.187648