Xclusive Tickets Ltd
An SFO investigation into the affairs of the Xclusive Companies began in September 2008. This case concerned the fraudulent operation of an online ticket business (“Xclusive”) that ‘sold’ but failed to supply thousands of tickets for various big ticket events including the Beijing Olympics and various music festivals that took place during the summer of 2008. The Xclusive companies collapsed in August 2008 leaving more than 10,000 people without tickets and causing substantial losses. Customers were invited online to ‘buy’ tickets for events using credit or debit cards. The principal company in the group, Xclusive Leisure and Hospitality received payments for Olympics and music festivals tickets to the value of at least £3.7 million.
On 8 October 2009, Terence Shepherd, Allan Schaverien, Alan Scott, Cyril Gold, Geert van Meel and Margaret Canty-Shepherd were charged with fraudulent trading, offences contrary to the Fraud Act and money laundering offences. On 10 June 2010, all six defendants pleaded not guilty to all counts. Allan Schaverien changed his plea to guilty on 15 April 2011. The Judge ordered that all not guilty verdicts were to be entered for the Fraud Act offences relating to the unauthorised sale of football tickets on 6 June 2011. As a consequence of this decision, Mr van Meel was no longer on trial.
Terence Shepherd and Alan Scott were convicted on 5 July 2011 at Southwark Crown Court. Both were found guilty of a variety of offences for failing to supply tickets to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and summer music events.
On 11 July 2011, Terence Shepherd, Alan Scott and Allan Schaverien were sentenced to eight, seven and two years and eight months’ imprisonment respectively. The Judge also ordered that Terence Shepherd and Alan Scott were to be disqualified from acting as a company director for 15 and 10 years respectively. Alan Scott and Terence Shepherd were subsequently sentenced to further time in custody for failing to pay confiscation orders. Further details below.
*Tickets Ltd, Xclusive Leisure & Hospitality Ltd, Tradeandbid.com Ltd, Rugby World Cup 2007 Hospitality Ltd, World Hospitality Company Ltd and ATC.com Ltd (“the Xclusive companies”)
Outcome of criminal case
Terence Shepherd was convicted of money laundering, two counts of fraudulent trading and two counts of acting as a company director whilst disqualified. Alan Scott was also convicted of two counts of fraudulent trading.
Allan Schaverien pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting fraudulent trading on 15 April 2011.
Margaret Canty-Shepherd and Cyril Gold were acquitted of money laundering and aiding and abetting fraudulent trading charges, respectively.
Terence Shepherd was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment and disqualified from acting as a company director for 15 years.
Alan Scott was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years.
Allan Schaverien was sentenced to two years and eight months’ imprisonment.
On 1 August 2011, Alan Scott applied for leave to appeal against sentence. On 4 August 2011, Terence Shepherd applied to appeal against both conviction and sentence. Both applications were refused by a single judge in the Court of Appeal.
On 13 July 2012, Terence Shepherd renewed his application for leave to appeal against conviction and sentence before the full court in the Court of Appeal. This application was refused.
On 14 November 2011 HHJ Beddoe made a confiscation order against Allan Schaverien in the sum of £19,855. He was given 28 days to pay and a default sentence of 12 months imposed in the event of non-payment. A confiscation hearing was heard on 4 October 2012 at Southwark Crown Court in respect of Terence Shepherd and Alan Scott. The following orders were made:
- Terence Shepherd was ordered to pay £1,250,000 (of which £1,036,872.13 was to be paid in compensation to victims).within six months. A default sentence of six years was imposed.
- Alan Scott was ordered to pay £500,000 within six months or face a default sentence of four years.
On 13 August 2013 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Alan Scott was ordered to serve four years’ imprisonment consecutive to his original sentence of seven years as a result of non-payment of his confiscation order.
As of 14 August 2014, Terence Shepherd has paid £103,344.00 towards his confiscation order of £1,250,000; these monies have since been paid in compensation to victims. On 24 June 2014, Terence Shepherd’s default sentence of six years imprisonment was activated. In activating Shepherd’s default sentence District Judge Ikram said: “You have culpably neglected or willfully refused to pay this sum and I am not in a position to grant a further adjournment.” The default sentence imposed will be served after the original sentence unless the confiscation order plus accrued interest is paid in full.
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