The brains behind Britain’s biggest-ever motoring fraud was sentenced to seven years in jail at Manchester Crown Court on Friday.
The repeating offender, Colin Lowndes, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and 30 counts of fraud relating to a different scam.
Lowndes, of Clough End Road, Hyde, was the mastermind behind the massive scam that saw over 700 drivers avoid penalty points for speeding and jumping red lights.
When police raided numerous properties associated with Lowndes they found uncompleted notices hanging from a tree and a notebook buried in the ground documenting clients’ addresses.
Lowndes is believed to have made over £100,000 profit charging offenders between £100 and £400.
Photographs taken from his computer showed him enjoying luxury holidays in Egypt, Tenerife and Turkey with friends and family, paid for with his ill-gotten gains.
Judge Thomas said that Lowndes was fully aware that he was helping offenders avoid the law and that motorists have a duty of responsibility to act honestly if caught committing a motoring offence.
He said that Lowndes had helped escape punishment and those that have been caught have been tried, some receiving between three and six months in prison for what would have been a simple motoring offence.
He added that the law cannot operate without people acting honestly and the police cannot do their jobs properly if this is not the case.
Lowndes’ brother-in-law, Lee Foster, 40, of Backbower Lane, Hyde was also charged with perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
In relation to the separate fraud case, Lowndes, was investigated by the Specialists Operation Branch who found that he was involved in credit card fraud.
They found on his computer that he had bought six sets of credit card details from Vietnam of Australian citizens.
He managed to steal £21,000 in separate transactions, spending the money on holidays, and various items such as binoculars and a £900 heater.
He continued to carry out fraudulent transactions whilst on bail.
The court heard how Lowndes used hard-working peoples’ money to maintain a ‘high-living’ lifestyle that he could not afford otherwise.
As a result of his actions and persistent law breaking over the last two decades, he was sentenced to seven years, he has already served 100 days.