Lancashire

Francis Tomney ordered to repay driveway fraud money

The head of a family gang from Lancashire jailed for cheating vulnerable people out of their money has been ordered to repay £800,000.

Francis Tomney, 55, was jailed on 7 November for his part in a shoddy driveways scam, along with two sons.

His gang was filmed charging one customer for "chemical sealant" for a driveway, which was actually milk.

A hearing told him to repay the money in six months, or have four years added to his five-and-a-half year sentence.

Tomney and his twin sons, Francis Jr and Thomas, 21, from Cleveleys, all admitted fraud at Preston Crown Court in early November.

They were jailed along with Tomney's nephew, Brian, 29, who had conned an elderly woman with dementia into selling her £60,000 house for £17,000.

Image caption The Tomney family's behaviour was described by police as despicable

A proceeds of crime hearing at Preston Crown Court judged Tomney, of Dorset Avenue, had benefited by £801,366 through his crimes.

Det Ch Insp Tim Leeson said: "It is clear that the shoddy and often dangerous building work being carried out by the Tomneys was reaping them thousands of pounds from their elderly and vulnerable victims.

"They did not appear to splash this cash on luxury items, as if often the case, but instead hoarded it away in places, deliberately hoping to avoid scrutiny from the authorities - particularly the taxman."

Work was carried out in Knott End, Preesall, Fleetwood, Blackpool, Thornton, Lytham, Stockport and St Albans.

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