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'Walter Mitty' conman Mark O'Hanlon to have pension confiscated after Lydney fraud

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 15, 2014

O'Hanlon was compared to Walter Mitty, played in the new film by Ben Stiller

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CONMAN Mark O’Hanlon, whose fraud wrecked a Lydney business, will have a quarter of his pension fund confiscated from him when he turns 55, a judge has ruled.

O’Hanlon’s criminal benefit from the fraud was £170,505 but at present he has only £30 in cash which can be taken from him under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

However, in two years’ time when O‘Hanlon celebrates his 55th birthday he will be entitled to draw 25 percent of his pension pot.

At Gloucester Crown Court today, Judge Jamie Tabor QC made a restraining order which will stop O‘Hanlon getting his hands on the pension cash – expected to be about £20,000.

Instead it will be seized by the state and paid as compensation to the firm he ruined.

The judge made the order today under the Proceeds of Crime Act after prosecution and defence agreed the figures for criminal benefit and available assets.

Last June, O’Hanlon was jailed for 27 months after he admitted seven offences of fraud by false representation and one of contravening a company director disqualification.

The court heard O’Hanlon, then 52, had persuaded a High Street bank executive to recommend him for a £70,000 a year job as financial director of Ernest J Berry Ltd of Harbour Road, Lydney.

As a result of his “sheer and utter incompetence” in the job, which he was not qualified for, the firm was forced into administration in October 2012 with the loss of 34 jobs.

When Judge Tabor sentenced O’Hanlon last June he described him as a “Walter Mitty character”.

Prosecutor Martin Lanchester said that during O’Hanlon’s time at the firm between 2009 and 2011 it went ‘into rapid decline.’

“There was barely anything true on his CV,” said Mr Lanchester. “It was mostly all lies. In 2007 he had been convicted and jailed for fraud,“

The defence said at last year’s hearing that O’Hanlon was genuinely sorry for what he had done and had suffered a nervous breakdown.

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