Major property fraud and organised crime trial at Manchester Crown Court

May 8, 2017

Barristers from Exchange Chambers, instructed by JMW Solicitors, represented four of the defendants in a £10 million buy-to-let fraud trial at Manchester Crown Court.

The charges related to the business activities of Scott Rowbotham, 35, who had assembled an extensive buy-to-let property portfolio.  As part of a wider investigation into organised crime in Tameside there were 23 defendants in total, around 70,000 pages of evidence and exhibits of complicated financial documentation relating to over 150 properties.

The sentences received by the defendants represented by barristers from Exchange Chambers were as follows:

Scott Rowbotham was jailed for three years and eight months by Judge Hilary Manley after admitting fraud and money laundering in relation to his business activities between 2004 and 2014.   The Judge commented when sentencing Rowbotham, that the Crown had made important concessions in his case, agreeing to withdraw allegations that he had laundered drug money and defrauded HMRC. He was represented by Jason MacAdam, leading Holly Betke, both from Exchange Chambers.

Rowbotham’s partner, Louise Burns, 36, was given 15 months suspended for two years, with 100 hours unpaid work after admitting fraud.  She was represented by Amanda Johnson from Exchange Chambers.

Her mother, Joan Burns, 63, admitted fraud and was given a 12-month community order and a £500 fine.  She was represented by Adrian Farrow from Exchange Chambers.

Anne-Marie Fielding, 52, was given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years, after admitting fraud, with 250 hours unpaid work.  She was represented by Dan Prowse from Exchange Chambers.

One of the other defendants involved in the conspiracy, William Black, was jailed for 15 years in January last year after being convicted of ten counts of fraud, conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis, and laundering criminal cash.