Get-Rich-Quick Case Cost Taxpayers £1.4m

The prosecution of a group of women who ran a £21m pyramid scheme cost taxpayers at least £1.4m, according to a Freedom of Information request.
The scheme, which generated £21m before it was shut down, conned at least 10,000 people between May 2008 and April 2009.
But the perpetrators paid back as little as £1 each, according to an investigation by the Press Association.
The victims were encouraged to "beg, borrow or steal" to take part in the scam, which promised £23,000 for each £3,000 investment if a player recruited two people.
Bristol Crown Court heard the scheme's committee members pocketed up to £92,000 each, while up to 88% of their members lost between £3,000 and £15,000.
The eleven women prosecuted for the scheme were the first in the UK to face prosecution for a pyramid scheme under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act.

Six women who were convicted of operating and promoting the scheme paid back a total of £535,454 in confiscation orders and prosecution costs.
The prosecution cost taxpayers "not less" than £1,465,000 - not including defence costs, legal aid costs or court costs.
A spokeswoman for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said there was a "strong public interest" in bringing the case to act as a deterrent, warn the public and achieve justice for victims.
"Investigating and prosecuting complex economic cases of this kind are invariably costly, often taking a significant time to investigate fully and resulting in lengthy trials," she said.
"In particular, they will typically involve sifting through millions of physical and electronic documents, complicated money tracing exercises and interviewing of a large number of potential witnesses.
"All this calls for a team of staff working full-time, including expert staff, and the advice of specialist counsel.
"The costs associated with this particular case are in no way unusual or unexpected for a case of this kind."
Judge Mark Horton ordered the defendants to pay back individual amounts following a Proceeds of Crime hearing held in July.
Chairwoman Laura Fox, 70, was ordered to pay £156,000. Treasurer Jennifer Smith-Hayes, 69, paid £111,912, while secretary Susan Crane, 69, paid £81,162.
Hazel Cameron, 55, paid £65,012, charts co-ordinator Mary Nash, 65, paid £53,362 and Carol Chalmers, 69, paid £47,862.
In 2012, Sally Philips, 35, of Hengrove, Jane Smith, 51, of Bishopsworth, and Rita Lomas, 50, of Whitchurch, received suspended sentences after they admitted promoting the scheme.
Two other women accused of being involved with the scam were cleared of all charges.

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