A crooked businesswoman who bought high-class cars and funded a lavish lifestyle through scams totalling more than £9 million has been jailed.
Kankamol Albon, 41, drew out £580,000 from her business in a 14 month period despite the fact it was operating at a loss.
The mother-of-five defrauded investors in her prestige car business out of £7.5 million and fiddled the taxman out of £1.9 million in VAT repayments.
Ipswich Crown Court heard Albon lived in a magnificent £3.9 million moated house near Sudbury, Suffolk, and educated her children at private schools.
Jailing Albon for six years, Judge Rupert Overbury described the frauds as “massive” and said they had been designed to prop up her failing business and to maintain her “lavish” lifestyle.
He added: “There were also large cash withdrawals and large expenditure on your household and credit cards.”
Albon, from Bures, Suffolk, admitted seven offences of dishonestly making a gain by false representation, participating in a fraudulent business and cheating the public purse.
The court heard she ran a prestige cars business under the name of her husband’s business NA Carriage Company.
The court was told between July 2007 and the end of August 2008 Albon had a very high turnover in high-class cars but had sold cars for less than she paid for them and was operating at a loss.
She got clients to pay up front for cars including Ferraris, Bentleys and Maseratis, before replacing it with funds taken from another customer.
Julian Christopher, prosecuting, said Albon persuaded customers to pay up front for cars she was buying for them and to invest in other car purchases by offering them a share of the profits.
He said: “However as her losses grew so did the need for further investors and customers.
“She plainly got more and more out of control and more desperate for more funds and she frequently induced customers to invest with her by making fraudulent claims.”
Albon’s businesses collapsed in August 2008 with losses to investors amounting to £7.5 million and Albon was arrested in February 2009.
In 2010 and 2011 while she was on bail she fiddled the taxman by claiming £1.9 million in VAT repayments on cars she claimed she had bought.
Mr Christopher said that of 122 vehicles Albon claimed she had bought 107 of the purchases were fictitious and she had used bogus documents to support her claims.
Kevin Baumber, representing Albon, said his client had no previous convictions and her main concern was for her children.
He said the business had been run legitimately and successfully for many years, but had got into difficulties after losing several million pounds in a foreign business venture.
Proceedings will be initiated under the Proceeds of Crime Act to identify and confiscate any assets gained through Albon’s criminal activity.
Speaking after the sentence, DC Adrian Finbow from Suffolk Police’s Economic Crime Unit who lead the investigation, said: “We are satisfied that she acted alone and her sole motivation for the fraud being one of excessive greed, and the desire to buy expensive luxury goods and live an opulent lifestyle.
“We hope today’s sentencing will bring some sort of closure to the victims, some of whom have lost their homes and businesses, not to mention the inevitable affect on personal and home lives.”
Bob Gaiger, spokesperson from HM Revenue & Customs, said: “Kankamol Albon had a lifestyle that few people could aspire to.
“She owned a moated house, took expensive foreign holidays and sent her children to private schools.
“This lifestyle was partly paid for using the proceeds from her crime. Her luxury car dealership was a cover for a large scale VAT fraud.
“This sort of criminal activity is just not acceptable in this day and age and the sentence given today reflects the scale and seriousness of her actions.”