Allegations that the Directors of Express Motors diverted company revenue into their private bank accounts as well as being involved in concessionary travel scheme reimbursement fraud, were made when their trial opened at Caernarfon Crown Court.
Eric Wyn Jones, of Gerallt, Bontnewydd, and his three sons Ian Wyn Jones, of Carmel Road, Penygroes, Keith Jones, of Caerberllan, Llanddaniel, Anglesey, and Kevin Wyn Jones, of Llwyn Beuno, Bontnewydd, pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to commit fraud by false representation by instructing others to falsely swipe concessionary travel cards, themselves falsely swiped concessionary travel cards and made false claims to Gwynedd County Council.
They also pleaded not guilty to conspiring to hide, conceal, convert and disguise criminal property, namely money from Express Motors of Penygroes, by failing to account for all cash taken, failing to pay tax on those takings, and paying it into their personal bank accounts without declaring it as income.
Opening the case for the prosecution, Matthew Dunford said that the concessionary fare fraud took place over two years and all four defendants played a significant role in the fraud. An investigation by North Wales Police after a complaint from the Council, found that between June 2012 and July 2014 32 concessionary fare cards were fraudulently swiped 88,000 times, generating £88,492 revenue for Express Motors that it was not entitled to [routeone/5 September/News].
One card had been swiped 23,217 times; another 13,293 times and 18 cards were swiped 75,520 times. Lost or stolen cards had been swiped more than 100 times a day. It would be rare for a cardholder to use a bus more than four times a day. A number of the company’s employees told police that drivers were told by members of the Jones family to swipe cards for non-existent journeys. Eric Wyn Jones was the person who completed and signed the inflated claim forms submitted to the Council.
More than £509,000 revenue generated by Express Motors was not banked. The police discovered regular cash payments made to the defendants; money that was not accounted for or taxed.
Between April 2013 and June 2014 Express Motors generated £1.2m revenue but only around 58% was paid into the company’s bank account. Eric Wyn Jones deposited £30,500 into his own account. Ian Wyn Jones used £159,000 in cash to pay off his and his wife’s credit cards. He paid £45,000 into his personal account and paid £71,000 in cash for a rally car. Both Kevin Wyn Jones and Keith Jones each paid £80,000 in cash into their bank accounts. Those cash payments were not declared to HMRC.
Police Investigator Gwynfor Roberts said that in the case of Eric Wyn Jones, £100,000 had been deposited with a gambling site. He agreed that the payments to the gambling site were apparent and nothing was hidden and he was aware that Keith Jones did not live an extravagant lifestyle during the period concerned.
For Kevin Wyn Jones, it was said that payments received from insurance policies and PPI claims had not been investigated. The court also heard that Kevin Jones collected cash during coach trips to Everton football matches; all of which was legitimate income.
The trial continues and is expected to last for up to six weeks.