British Stud Owner Ordered To Repay £5.8 Million For Role In International Con Scheme

Joseph Birch, 45, owner of Higher Lowton Farm near Okehampton in the British county of Devon, has been ordered by a judge to repay £5.8 million to victims of a confidence scheme which investigators say took on an international nature.

Birch claimed to be a former Royal marine with a secretive but heroic military service record and presented himself as a knight while convincing wealthy friends in the United States and Europe to invest in fictitious companies. Prosecutors say he used his farm and racing stable to launder the money he took on as investments, and spent it on himself, building a lifestyle of luxury cars.

Birch and his wife, former trainer Grit Birch, have both been banned from horse racing in England, according to Devon Live. If Birch is unable to repay the amount owed, he will have seven years added to the seven-and-a-half-year jail sentence he is currently serving.

Read more at Devon Live

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