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Three sentenced following multi-million pound fraud investigation

Three men have been sentenced for their part in a fraud which resulted in a number of Welsh Government grant-funded companies going into liquidation.

A judge at Cardiff Crown Court sentenced Anthony Smith who was described as the driving force behind the £5 million fraud to three years and nine months in prison on Friday (May 10).

Their accountant, Keith Peters was sentenced to 15 months in prison, while the third defendant, Colin Mair received 21 months which is suspended for 18 months.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Bellamy of South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit said: “Today’s sentencing marks the end of an eight year investigation by South Wales Police into the fraudulent activities of a number of grant-funded companies.

This was a complex and detailed investigation by the force’s Economic Crime Unit into the conduct of the Port Talbot-based Dragon group of companies and individuals linked to them.

Their dishonest use of public money was carried out by fraudulently claiming grant funding from the Welsh Government and European Union.

Investigating officers left no stone unturned to uncover the extent of the fraud and it is their dedication which has led to this successful outcome at court.

The investigation has also involved a very large and successfully run disclosure exercise by the Economic Crime Unit and the CPS Specialist Fraud Division to ensure that the defence were provided with disclosure of material that may assist their cases from about seven million items gathered from Welsh Government.

The overwhelming amount of evidence gathered during this painstaking investigation has resulted in Anthony Smith, Colin Mair and Keith Peters being sentenced for their role in a fraud worth more than £5 million to the public purse.”

The judge commended South Wales Police Economic Crime Unit for their work in this case.

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