Defence counsel, Nigel Edwards KC represents Keith Swift in confiscation proceedings surrounding the fraud of the York based insurance company, Aviva.
Ex-policeman, PC Stephen Spellacy, was jailed for committing fraud north of £1.1m on Aviva but claims he did not benefit from the fraud and has no assets left to his name.
Spellacy worked with fellow fraudster and Aviva employee, John Michael Taylor, to divert the money from the company’s accounts before sending it to be laundered. However, both parties denied organising detailed arrangements as to how they would receive the laundered sum, with Spellacy calling the fraud ‘slapdash’ at Leeds Crown Court.
Contrarily, co-conspirator and money launderer, Keith Swift, said he sent £409,000 of the stolen money in cash to two men with connections to Spellacy with the belief it ended up with Spellacy and Taylor. But Taylor also denies being given any money from the operation and joins Spellacy in accusing Swift of harbouring the funds.
“Is there no honour among thieves left?” barrister Nigel Edwards KC asked his client, Swift.
“No,”” replied Swift.
Almost £700,000 remains unaccounted for, according to Mark Bury, involved in giving judgement in the case.
Previously described as a ‘career criminal’, Swift lived in an exclusive, central area of Leeds next door to Chris Moyles and a Leeds Rhinos player and described his lifestyle as ‘very comfortable’. Claiming to have had a heart condition, Swift began using cocaine in October 2008 to help with stress and continued to take it for six-nine months with a spend of £500-£1000 per week. This caused him to become ‘so short of money’ that he intended to borrow his 11 year-old daughter’s savings.
Not able to pay maintenance for his daughter, Swift wanted to challenge his sentence at the Court of Appeal but could not fund the legal fees.