Bus firm claimed £600k for 88,000 bogus journeys, hears court

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Licence was revoked

Four men who ran North Wales-based Express Motors are accused of siphoning off £600,000 into their own bank accounts, having claimed for 88,000 bogus passenger journeys, Caernarfon Crown Court has heard.

The claims were made on the first day of the trial. The four deny defrauding the concessionary travel scheme and concealing undeclared income.

The scam involved using lost or stolen bus passes, with some used more than 10 times a day.

An investigation found 32 concessionary passes were used fraudulently between June 2012 and July 2014, a total of 88,000 times.

Investigators found that owner Eric Wyn Jones’ own pass had been used on a bus he was driving at the time. When interviewed he “appeared to see that as trivial” the court heard.

Mr Wyn Jones, 77, of Gerallt, Bontnewydd, and his sons, Ian Wyn, 53, of Carmel Road, Penygroes; Keith, 51, of Caer Berllan, Llanddaniel and Kevin Wyn, 54, of Llwyn Beuno, Bontnewydd, were said to have played significant roles in the business.

The four deny conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.

They also deny conspiring to conceal money by failing to pay cash into the company bank account and failing to declare the money as income.

In 15 months £1.2m was taken in cash by the firm but only £690,000 was paid into the bank. The remainder was paid into personal bank accounts or used to pay bills, the court heard. The firm ran 60 buses and employed 80 people.

The trial continues.