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Dealer in court

A second hand car dealer and solarium owner who claimed he had lost more than £200,000 in a drug deal that went wrong was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £65,000 following his conviction in a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) prosecution.

Anthony Cornelius Hurley, aged 53, of Maxwell Gardens, Orpington, Kent, was made bankrupt in September 2001 owing £55,000 to the Inland Revenue.

The Official Receiver discovered Hurley had sold a house in St Mary's Cray in 1999, shortly after the Inland Revenue demanded payment of a £42,000 tax debt. Despite pocketing £44,000 from the sale, he failed to pay up.

Hurley then sold a second house in Bromley, Kent, making £190,000. The money was withdrawn in cash from his bank account over a two-week period and nothing was paid to the taxman. He also made £17,000 from cashing in an endowment policy.

In giving evidence during his Crown Court, Hurley claimed he used £30,000 to settle drug debts and that he had lost £190,000 in an unsuccessful cocaine deal. The jury did not believe him and he was convicted of three offences of fraudulent disposal of the properties.

The case was adjourned for a financial investigation prior to a confiscation hearing on September 3, 2004.

After hearing legal arguments, His Honour Judge Hamer found that Mr Hurley had benefited from the offences with a sum of £86,347 and he had hidden assets of £65,000. Mr Hurley was ordered to pay a confiscation order of £65,000 within three months or serve an additional six months in jail.

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