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Man who was found asleep next to a bundle of cash ordered to pay back £35,000

A man who was found asleep in a car next to bundles of cash, has been ordered to pay back more than £35,000, he made from his criminal lifestyle.

Joseph Hilton, aged 23, of Manchester, was sentenced in July 2018, to 9 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to offering to supply a controlled drug of class B – cannabis and acquiring/use/possess criminal property.
Following his conviction, South Wales Police’s financial investigators began proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) to recover any cash or assets gained as a result of his crimes.

At a POCA hearing held in Cardiff Crown Court today, (Jan 29) Hilton was ordered to pay back £35,650.84 within 3 months or face 9 months imprisonment.

The court previously heard, officers attended Hood Road, Barry, on April 1, 2018, in response to a report of a man slumped over in a car with the engine running. They found Hilton asleep in the driver’s seat of a BMW one series.

While trying to wake the defendant, officers smelt alcohol and observed a large amount of cash on the passenger’s seat.

They seized £5,000 in cash, a gold Rolex watch, an amount of cannabis along with £400 in cash which was found on Hilton.

In his police interview, Hilton claimed the £5,000 found on the seat was going to be used to buy a car in Manchester but didn’t have time to purchase the car before travelling down to Cardiff to watch a boxing match.
Evidence found on the defendant’s phone showed videos of him handling large quantities of cash and flaunting expensive watches and designer clothing.

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Detective Inspector Dean Taylor said: “Videos found on the defendant’s phone showed him living an extravagant lifestyle for a person who was unemployed. Our financial investigations are committed to investigating the financial affairs of criminals to determine the extent of their profits.

“The public can really help us by passing on any information about people who may be making a living off their criminal lifestyle. Generally, these people are clearly seen to spend more than their apparent disposable income.

“We are determined to deal with drug issues in our area, and will take robust action against anyone who attempts to distribute illegal drugs. I would like to thank the community for the information provided and would urge anyone with any information about drug dealing in our communities should have confidence to report it to us – call us on 101, or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”