Somerset

Fake bomb detector seller James McCormick jailed again

James McCormick Image copyright Reuters
Image caption James McCormick was jailed in 2013 for selling fake bomb detectors

A fraudster jailed for selling fake bomb detectors to war-torn countries has received two more years in prison for failing to pay back nearly £2m.

James McCormick, from Langport, Somerset, made a fortune selling his detectors to Iraq and other countries.

The 62-year-old businessman was ordered in 2016 to forfeit cash and assets worth nearly £8m.

Detectives said their "work will continue" to seize McCormick's assets.

At his Old Bailey trial in 2013, Judge Richard Hone QC said McCormick's fraud had undoubtedly cost lives.

He was jailed for 10 years for perpetrating a "callous confidence trick", the judge said.

McCormick is thought to have made £50m from sales of more than 7,000 of the fake devices.

The fraud "promoted a false sense of security" and contributed to death and injury, the judge said. He also described the profit as "outrageous".

'Greedy lifestyle'

McCormick was later ordered to pay back £7,944,834 following confiscation proceedings.

This included £4m from the sale of a house in The Circus in Bath; an £88,000 parking spot; a luxury villa in Limassol, Cyprus; a £345,000 Sunseeker motorcruiser as well as a family home in Somerset.

McCormick, who was due to be released from jail soon, received a default sentence of 842 days in prison after refusing to meet a £1.8m shortfall following a hearing at North Somerset Magistrates' Court.

Det Insp Peter Highway, from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: "When McCormick was sentenced both the judge and senior officer made reference to his 'obscene' and 'outrageous profits' and 'greedy, extravagant lifestyle'.

"Following Avon and Somerset's successful criminal investigation, our team has worked on an international basis to seize money and assets from him and, based on his refusal to meet the shortfall, this work will continue."

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