A FORGER who owns a £960,000 house has not repaid a penny of the cash he made from his crimes – over a year after a court ordered him to cough up.
Self-indulgent businessman John Farrell, 54, of upmarket Bowmore Crescent in Thorntonhall, was hit with a £96,000 proceeds of crime order in May 2011 after he was convicted of masterminding a major counterfeiting operation from a factory in College Milton.
But he has paid nothing since then, despite his palatial home and the fact he is about to start a £90,000-a-year job.
He was jailed for five years and eight months in July 2009 for producing fake banknotes but is now on parole. Farrell’s Oxford graduate son, Craig, was jailed for two years and nine months for his part in his father’s crooked enterprise.
Farrell told a court last week he needed even more time to produce the cash – and a sheriff gave him another three months.
Computer expert Farrell turned his IT business, EMW Solutions, into a factory churning out fake £20 notes and lived a life of luxury on the back of his crimes. But police raided the firm in 2008 and unearthed £185,000 of dodgy cash, including counterfeit Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland notes in various stages of completion.
Initially he denied printing counterfeit currency and claimed he was undertaking a business venture in order to produce a bank note which could not be copied, but admitted his scam during questioning at East Kilbride police station.
During his 2009 hearing at Glasgow High Court it was revealed some of the counterfeit money had been used at a number of places including Morrisons petrol station in East Kilbride and Halifax Bank of Scotland in Princes Mall.
It was when his business began to fail in 2007 Farrell became “desperate” and began his counterfeiting scam. His money factory afforded him a champagne lifestyle with a Jaguar, a Porsche and exotic travel.
Last year Lady Clark of Calton ordered Farrell to pay £96,000 to the public purse under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
At Perth Sheriff Court last week, Farrell’s lawyer David Fisken said his client had failed to obey the order because he hadn’t been able to sell his palatial home. He said Farrell had dropped his asking price by £40,000, but there was “a fairly limited market for that kind of house.” Mr Fisken added: “He is 95 per cent certain of obtaining employment in the next two months with a company involved in waste management. He plans to use his salary to obtain a loan to pay off the order. His salary is to be £90,000 per annum.”
Sheriff Lindsay gave Farrell an extra three months to pay, warning if he failed again, the Crown would consider seizing his house.