Serious Fraud Office moves to seek confiscation of assets

Michael Bright, Dennis Lomas and Philip Condon were this week considering whether to appeal against their jail sentences totalling 14 years.

A senior legal source said it was likely that Bright would be the only one to appeal. Bright was jailed for seven years for his convictions on two counts of conspiracy to defraud through withholding claims data and non-disclosure of contracts.

Lomas received four years for convictions on the same two counts, while Condon received three years for his conviction on the single count of withholding claims data.

Judge Rivlin said that the three should serve half their sentences.

Lynda Lomas, wife of Dennis Lomas, said her husband’s sentence was undeserved. She was comforted by son Daniel as the sentence was handed down.

She said: “He does not deserve prison because I still think he is not guilty. I am glad it is over but I wish he had not had to put up with what he has.”

Confiscation proceedings are underway to recover money from the remaining assets of the defendants, with a hearing set for 1 February 2008.

The Serious Fraud Office said the prosecution would present to the court a list of the assets it believed should be confiscated, although details of what might be taken are not yet known.

An arrangement between Bright and his wife, who is his trustee in bankruptcy, has allowed the couple to keep control of two houses. Bright has also been living on a £3m pension since he resigned from Independent.

As well as the jail terms, Bright was also disqualified from being a director of a company for 12 years, as were Lomas and Condon for 10 years each.

Solicitors BCL Burton Copeland for Bright, Russell Jones & Walker for Lomas and Kingsley Napley for Condon declined to comment.