Hull gangmaster Kuldip Singh failed to repay money he made from criminal empire
A GANGMASTER who gave away his newsagent's shop to a paperboy to avoid handing over £1.5m from his criminal empire has been jailed for failing to repay the money.
Kuldip Singh has been jailed for three and a half years after he failed to repay any of the money he made through his criminal activities.
Singh, who was convicted for supplying migrant workers to three horticultural firms in the East Riding without a licence, had benefited from his criminal conduct to the tune of £1.5m.
Hull Crown Court heard Singh made £1,562,970 through his crimes but has £314,138 in assets.
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Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, he was ordered to sell his business, his family land in India and six cars to pay back the money he made through his crimes.
But Singh, of Rivelin Park, Kingswood, has failed to repay the money and magistrates, sitting at Leeds Magistrates' Court, have now sentenced him to three and a half years in prison for default of payment.
Just last month, Singh was jailed for three months for contempt of court after conning his paperboy into taking over his shop in Lowgate, Sutton.
Singh offered to pay the paperboy, who earned £3 an hour delivering papers, £1,000 to take over his shop and become a director.
But Singh, of Kingswood, was trying to hide his assets to con financial investigators into believing he had no money.
Prosecutor Ed Bindloss said: "Singh purported to sell his business but in effect gave away his business to a paperboy.
"He told him he wanted to step down and let him become the new director of the shop."
Singh, 49, had been banned from selling any of his property by the court pending a proceeds of crime hearing.
But just a month before the court made its final ruling in June last year, Singh tried to sign over his shop, which was valued at more than £100,000 and was his main source of income, to his paperboy.
The paperboy only realised something was amiss when Singh tried to put his name on the water bills and asked him to sign contracts with his suppliers.
Singh claimed he did it because of the "bad publicity" surrounding his gangmaster conviction and denied a charge of contempt of court.
But, after hearing evidence, Judge Jeremy Richardson QC, sitting at Hull Crown Court, found him guilty, describing it as a "crude" attempt by Singh to conceal his assets.
He said: "It was not a sophisticated enterprise but it was utterly deliberate."
Singh was originally sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, in 2009 after admitting offences under the Gangmaster Licensing Act.
Singh was brought to justice after an investigation by the UK Border Agency Immigration Crime Team into his activities.
They discovered Singh had illegally supplied workers to three East Riding firms through his companies Diamond Employment Agency and Opiecare Ltd between November 2006 and June 2008.
He had applied for a gangmaster licence but, although his application was refused, he continued to supply workers illegally.