Tobacco bootlegger jailed
RICHARD BATSON A tobacco bootlegger, money launderer and benefit swindler has been jailed for three and a half years. Dennis Dagless of Cromer, who admitted 10 offences, was told by a judge he had a long record of “professional” dishonesty and violence.
A tobacco bootlegger, money launderer and benefit swindler has been jailed for three and a half years.
Dennis Dagless of Cromer, who admitted 10 offences, was told by a judge he had a long record of “professional” dishonesty and violence.
A court heard that when police attended a domestic incident at the 43-year-old's Connaught Road home, they found 155,440 cigarettes, 1,000 cigars, and 37kg of hand rolling tobacco along with £64,129 in cash.
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An earlier hearing was told Dagless claimed the stash was for his personal use, but that his former partner told police he did not smoke.
He admitted bootlegging but continued to offend while on bail, Norwich Crown Court was told.
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A second search, when he was arrested for money-laundering, revealed a further 11,380 cigarettes, 9.4kg of tobacco and £7,702 in cash.
The total tobacco excise duty evaded was £123,424, while the money-laundering offences totalled £198,129.
But Dagless also admitted claiming income support, housing and council tax benefit worth £26,000 saying he had no means. He even had an £18,000 care package provided when he said he was partially blind.
Dagless admitted 10 offences, involving money-laundering, concealing the proceeds of crime, failing to pay import duty and dishonest benefits claims, last year, but was appearing on Monday for sentencing.
Antony Bate, prosecuting, said the offences - which date back to 2004 - came to light after a domestic incident at the former family home. A number of bank accounts showed movements of cash proceeds of crime into and between accounts in the name of Dagless.
Simon Gladwell defending urged that he should be given concurrent sentences to all the charges.
Judge Paul Downes told Dagless: “You are an extremely dishonest and deceitful man. You have a long record for dishonesty and violence. It is very professional dishonesty and you knew exactly what you were doing on a considerable scale.”