‘FOR THEIR OWN GREED’... WHAT THE JUDGE, POLICE AND COUNCIL SAID
JUDGE Timothy Petts said the trial had revealed a “long-running fraud on the public purse”.
Eric Wyn Jones, 77, owned Express Motors and employed his sons Ian, 53, Kevin, 55, and Keith, 51.
The judge said: “You have been found guilty by the jury of serious charges in relation to fleecing the local authority by submitting false claims for concessionary bus fares and conspiring together to launder money from Express Motors.
“Each swipe of a bus pass was money in the bank for Express Motors. The fraud was one of breathtaking arrogance.
“The jury decided all four of you are part of the conspiracy. Decisions were not taken by one of you. All of you had to be involved. You are all part of a plan to swindle the local authority for the benefit of the family.”
He told Eric Wyn Jones: “You had nothing but contempt for the capabilities of the staff of f Gwynedd County Council.” l.”
In sentencing, the judge ge praised the work of the prosecution, in particular Detective Constable Mark Williams and civilian investigators Elwyn Roberts and Sarah Hardy.
Lawyers for Eric Jones and Kevin Jones said they y both continue to deny the e offences.
The Penygroes-based firm accepted concessionary fare passes which give free bus travel to passengers aged over 60 and those with disabilities. Each month, Express Motors would make refund claims to Gwynedd Gwyned Council based on the number numb of times the cards had been swiped. In a separate fraud, Express Motors also failed to pay tax on £500,000 £ of takings which were kept off the business’s accounts. After the hearing, Det Chief C Inspector Gerwyn Thomas Th of North Wales Police Polic said: “This was done for the their own greed during a time of eco economic austerity, and their actions have caused a significant economic loss to the tax payer.
“I would like to pay tribute to those witnesses who came forward and assisted the investigation, as well as thanking the many different agencies who have provided valuable assistance to a small dedicated team of detectives who diligently worked on this investigation.”
A Gwynedd council spokesperson said: “We are satisfied with today’s sentence and believe it reflects the serious nature of the case, which involved significant sums of money being fraudulently obtained from the public purse.
“Valuable lessons have been learnt since this case first came to light, and it is anticipated that new all-Wales procedures for recording and claiming concessionary fares for all local authorities will be introduced in the near future.”