Alan Biggins, who admitted to the advance fee fraud
THE Treasurer of the Swindon Cricket Club helped launder money stolen by internet crooks so he could pay back the money he illegally took from club funds.
Alan Biggins, 56, let Indian fraudsters use his bank account to process money stolen from vulnerable victims.
He sent thousands of pounds to the subcontinent in what is known as an advance fee fraud.
Prosecutor Rob Welling said Swindon Crown Court Biggins was involved in the scam where people in desperate need of funds were trying to get loans online.
“This money which was being laundered in his bank account was clearly the product of prepayment frauds perpetrated against UK nationals who had gone through a difficult time and were looking for loans on the Internet,” he said.
Victims would be informed that they had to pay a “processing fee”, followed by taxes and other payments before they could obtain the. ready. In order to give some credibility to the Indian operation, they used Biggins’ UK bank account to receive the payments.
Most victims only made a few small payments before realizing they were being cheated because the loans never materialized.
Mr Welling said it was admitted that the accused became involved in the crooks as he tried to raise money after illegally taking money from the cricket club.
He said there had been an agreement between the parties to reimburse what he had taken, and that there had been no complaints of theft from the club.
Biggins, of Cumberland Road, pleaded guilty to a charge of transferring criminal property between early December 2011 and late January 2012.
Although more than £ 20,000 left his bank account for India, Mr Welling said the Crown had accepted that he had only laundered £ 2,604.
Rob Ross, defending, said Biggins hoped to return to work as an assistant accountant but currently had a warehouse job so he could pay back what he took from the cricket club.
“He is a man who is well thought out and has done a lot of work for the cricket club,” he said.
“He got into financial trouble and stupidly borrowed money from the cricket club, struggled even worse and got involved in this advance fee fraud.
“Because of what he took from the cricket club, he was desperate to pay it back. I’m sure that, sane, without financial difficulties, he would have realized early on that it was a scam and got away with it.
Passing on the sentence, Judge Euan Ambrose said, “You were the treasurer of the Swindon Cricket Club and you borrowed money that you were not allowed to borrow. You then got down to trying to get money to reimburse the club and that started down the road that eventually led to this tribunal.
“You are here because before you made a deal with the club you tried to take out a loan to repay the club and in doing so you yourself have been scammed.
“After getting in touch with the people who are exploiting this scam, they then persuaded you to allow the use of your bank account as the intermediary through which funds were transferred from this country to theirs. ”
He put him on a 12 month community ordinance and told him to do 180 hours of unpaid labor.