Hundreds of cars crushed as clearance of rogue trader’s Walsoken scrapyard begins
HUNDREDS of vehicles are being crushed at an illegal scrapyard in Walsoken today as police strip the assets of jailed rogue trader Tony ‘Tiger’ Gray.
Gray was jailed for 28 months in June last year for running an illegal vehicle dismantling business at The Builders Yard, in Wheatley Bank.
Today, contractors Glazewing began the job of crushing the remaining cars on the site as the seizure of Grays assets - thought to be worth �700,000 - continues.
In June, Norwich Crown Court heard that Gray, also known as Wade Levi Smith, made �2.25million from the illegally-run business, which was closed down after a year-long covert operation.
The raid which closed the business happened in June 2009 and involved the Environment Agency and Customs and Excise. Police found stolen vehicles, �122,000 in cash, and discovered Gray had illegally abstracted �20,000 in electricity.
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They seized a Rolls Royce, Jaguar sports car and two motor homes and froze �20,000 he kept in the bank.
Gray admitted breaching environmental regulations and two fraud offences of failing to declare an income as well as abstracting electricity.
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The court ruled that in the five years up to 2009, Grays criminality had earned him 2,253,157.83. He was stripped of assets worth 698,427.86 seized by the police that included three houses, 408 vehicles, 122,000 in cash and 20,000 in the bank.
Prosecutors said Gray, who often sold cars on E-bay, had run the yard for years without paying any income tax and he had also converted 17,000 through money laundering.
Grays barrister, Samantha Riggs, had said the trader had suffered a number of tragedies in his life as his two sons were killed in a car pursuit with police in 2000. His brother was shot in another incident. Ms Riggs said the case had left him without a penny to his name.
Det Sgt Pete Jessop, from Norfolk police’s Operation Radar Team, said: “We work closely with scrap sites throughout the county who are law-abiding and it is fair to say this was an unprecedented case, with Gray showing a complete lack of disregard for the authorities.
“Today’s activities show that we are prepared to deal with these matters through to a satisfactory conclusion. It goes to show once again that crime doesn’t pay.”
Gray was also jailed for eight months in 2010 after he sold scrap vehicles worth 35,000 in a “blatant breach” of a court order forbidding him from doing so.
In August 2009, Gray had been the victim of crime after being attacked in his home by a gang of robbers. The attackers poured boiling water over his back and forced him to hand over 6,000 in cash.