Norwich couple who duped students out of £220,000 ordered to pay back less than £5,000
- Credit: Archant
A self-styled lord and his partner who duped hundreds of people across the world into handing over more than £220,000 for qualifications which never existed, have been ordered to pay back less than £5,000.
Scammer Scott Wolfe, 39, and partner Katie Hope, 35, set up fake online nutrition courses which conned around 900 people across the world.
The victims, from countries including Canada, South Africa, Singapore and New Zealand, lost around £200 each.
Wolfe, who went by several aliases, including “Lord” Scott Austin - a title he purchased for £24.99, was jailed for four years and Hope for two years in July last year after the couple, then 38 and 34 and from Unthank Road, Norwich, admitted fraudulent trading between 2015 and 2016 at an earlier hearing through a company called International Distance College Ltd which traded as The Nutrition School.
A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing was listed at Norwich Crown Court last week aimed at clawing back ill-gotten gains from the couple.
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Wolfe was found to have benefitted to the tune of £239,391.11 and has been ordered to pay back £4,000 or serve an extra four months in prison as a result.
Hope was found to have benefitted to by £28,420.63 and was ordered to pay back £800.
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As previously reported Wolfe and Hope claimed that the courses were expertly written and recognised by the NHS and international bodies.
The victims lost around £200 each with about £120,000 being passed into Wolfe and Hope’s personal bank accounts.
The couple splashed out on luxury cars.
From 2014 to 2016 the Norwich couple owned or had registered in their names a Bentley Continental, two Ferraris, two Range Rovers, a Porsche and Mercedes.
The court heard they led a “lavish lifestyle” from the “brazen” fraud.
The court heard Wolfe was the “principal directing mind” behind the fraud with Hope, a former teaching assistant, playing a “subordinate” role.
Judge Anthony Bate described them as “seasoned and shameless plagiarists”, adding that the fraud was “highly successful” and some of it was spent on “high living”.