Conman Ben Staff trying to get £200,000 compensation bill reduced
- Credit: Ian Burt
A convicted conman is trying to get the £200,000 he was ordered to pay back reduced as he says his assets have gone down in value, a court heard.
Former police officer Ben Staff, 39, from Thorpe St Andrew, was jailed in January 2017 for four and half years for frauds totalling £1 million which he carried out across Norfolk’s building trade from 2009 to 2014.
At a confiscation hearing in June 2018 Staff was ordered to pay £200,000 to his victims, funded through the sale of three properties he owned.
However at a hearing on Monday, Norwich Crown Court heard that Staff’s assets were now said to be worth less than valued so a contested hearing is to be held.
Gary Pons, prosecuting, said the defendant’s assets were said to be less than what they were valued at when the order was made.
The hearing was adjourned until November 2. Staff did not attend the hearing.
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Staff ripped off people, including his business partner, contractors and HMRC, by using money intended for his business accounts to fund his own lavish lifestyle.
He also conned creditors into thinking he had no money to pay them.
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In reality he used the cash for cars and holidays, renovated his home and paid for his wedding.
His trial heard how Staff took his victims in by using his police background to convince them he was trustworthy.
He served as a PC until 2008 before joining the building trade.
But his business practices sparked complaints and were investigated by this newspaper in 2013.
He was arrested by police the following year and jailed for four-and-a-half years in January 2017.
Police revealed in March of 2019 that he was yet to have repaid a penny of the £200,000.