LOCAL NEWS: Fraudster John Charles Hart ordered to pay more than £260,000 by court


A Bournemouth man who was convicted twice in 2017 for his part in a scheme that defrauded a Wimborne woman out of her  life savings has been ordered to pay over £260,000 by Bournemouth Crown Court.

Between March 2013 and July 2015, John Charles Hart, now aged 64, along with three other defendants, conned a Wimborne woman out of her £120,000 life savings by charging her for unnecessary work that they failed to carry out. In October 2017 Hart, a former resident of Hannington Place in Bournemouth, was sentenced to five years in prison for fraud by false representation. 

He had already been convicted for fraud by false representation at Swindon Crown Court in May 2017 and had been sentenced to 6 years and 4 months in prison. 

During the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing on Friday 28 August 2020, the judge ruled that the total amount Hart had benefited from his crimes were £556,458. The amount available that he was ordered to pay was £266,185. This figure includes £230,000 he withdrew from his bank account but had been unable to account for, having been diagnosed with dementia in 2019. 

If he is unable to pay the ordered £266,185 within the next 3 months, he will face a further 2 and a half years in prison. 

Of the sum Hart has been ordered to pay, £120,000 will be provided to the estate of the Wimborne victim, who unfortunately passed away before the hearing, and the remaining £35,000 will be awarded to the unnamed victim in the Swindon case. 

Alan Wooller, Senior Supervisor for Dorset Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that where offenders have benefited financially from their criminal activities, these assets are taken from them and victims who have lost out are compensated.

“We are continuing our enquiries to account for the whereabouts of the £230,000 withdrawn from Hart’s bank account and I would urge anyone with information that can assist with this to contact us or Crimestoppers.”

If you have any information that might help Dorset Police locate the missing money, please contact Dorset Police by calling 101, via email or using their website and quote occurrence number 55150054017. You can also report information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting their website.


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