North West Regional Organised Crime Unit
 

£14 million confiscation order for man selling fake viagra

Fri 27th, Apr

An investigation conducted between the Regional Asset Recovery Team and the MHRA has led to one of the largest confiscation orders for a case of this type. Read more...

A Tameside man who sold fake and unlicensed medicines has been ordered to repay more than £14million following a financial investigation by the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team (NWRART).

Simon Hickman , of Lily Lanes, Ashton-under-Lyne, was jailed for two years in 2009, following a criminal investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

He was convicted of six counts of selling and supplying fake and unlicensed medicines and money laundering to the value of £1.4 million.

He was sentenced to a further 22 months in prison in January 2011 for Contempt of Court after he tried to obtain a passport by deception and for selling a property in breach of a court restraint order.

Working alongside investigators from MHRA, the NWRART commenced an investigation into Hickman’s finances with a view to identifying criminal assets.

Extensive assets, including his home, Range Rovers, luxury flats and cash, were identified and restrained pending confiscation proceedings.

DCI Neil Ashton, Head of the Regional Asset Recovery Team said "This case sends out a clear message to organised criminals that law enforcement agencies, working in partnership, will continue to pursue those involved in serious crime." Hickman made his fortune by selling counterfeit erectile dysfunction tablets and slimming aids that he purchased overseas.

Investigators discovered Hickman created dozens of bank accounts across the globe, using them to launder cash totalling millions of pounds.

Funds were transferred into off shore accounts having been diverted through more than 30 different bank accounts, some based in Malta, Holland and the Cayman Islands.

At Southwark Crown Court on Friday 27 April 2012, Hickman was found to have benefited by £15,427,850.28 from his criminal enterprise.

He was ordered to repay £14,407,850.28 within six months or face a further 10 years in prison and still liable for the order.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Ashton, Head of the NWRART, said: “Hickman made a considerable personal fortune by selling illegal pills to thousands of unsuspecting victims

“He has been held to account thanks to a meticulous joint investigation between the NWRART and MHRA.

“Owing to a thorough partnership investigation, the MHRA and NWRART ensured Hickman lost his liberty as well as his assets. This case sends out a clear message to organised criminals that law enforcement agencies, working in partnership, will continue to pursue those involved in serious crime.

“To put this result into perspective, I think it is fair to say that this one single confiscation order eclipses any that have gone before and is higher than all confiscation orders secured by the NWRART collectively last year.”