Published: 16:20, 08 August 2017
A family have been found guilty of gold fraud totaling £1.4 million.
Brian Maltman, 55, wife Kim, 56, and son Daniel, 23, were charged with money laundering and conspiracy to handle stolen goods after being arrested in connection with burglaries in Main Road, Longfield, and Rosedale Close, Dartford, on May 24 last year.
Appearing at Maidstone Crown Court, Brian and Daniel were found guilty on both charges and jailed for 10 and six years respectively, with Kim found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to four years.
Following the Longfield and Dartford burglaries, a police investigation found the trio, of Havering Road, Romford, Essex, to be connected to a string of others.
They were tracked down after the stolen Mini Cooper they were using, which had a false registration plate, was involved in an accident in Havering Road, Romford, Essex.
It left the scene of the collision and was abandoned on a nearby estate, with a witness then seeing the family being picked up by another vehicle registered to them.
Officers executed a search warrant at the their address and found jewellery from the Dartford and Longfield burglaries, plus further stolen jewellery from other counties at their business premises in London.
Paperwork found there indicated that they had been doing business with a smelting company and were being paid large sums of money, mostly cash, on a regular basis.
They were arrested and bailed on suspicion of handling stolen goods and money laundering offences, but Brian was arrested again on January 5 after police found him in possession of £60,000 of gold, some of which had come from burglaries in Essex and London.
Further investigation identified other burglars the trio had contact with, who passed stolen jewellery onto the family before it was melted down.
Albie Kelly, 23, of New Road, Rainham, Essex, has pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and theft, including the offences in Longfield and Dartford, plus a burglary in Cameron Close, Brentwood, Essex, from which the Mini Cooper had been stolen.
Nick Guidotti, 24 of Thorney Bay Road, Canvey Island, Essex, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of burglary, carried out in April and May 2016, and Peter Lord, 24, of Wigton Road, Romford, Essex, pleaded guilty to two burglaries from May 2016.
All three are due to be sentenced on Thursday.
Investigating officer PC Dameon Shaw, of Kent Police, said: "This was a complex investigation which unravelled after the Mini Cooper was involved in a collision in Essex and spiralled into one of the most organised gold scams to date.
"Their sentences reflect the organised and serious criminality carried out by this family and I’m pleased that they have been brought to justice for these crimes."
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