Financial probe gets praise from top cop

David Wallace, aka David McNeil, must repay �365,000 or serve a further three and a half years to his three year jail sentence for fraud and money laundering.
David Wallace, aka David McNeil, must repay �365,000 or serve a further three and a half years to his three year jail sentence for fraud and money laundering.
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A Blackpool financial investigator has been praised by Lancashire’s top cop for his work in a three-year fraud and money laundering probe.

Alan Todd invested hundreds of police hours into uncovering a tangled web of bank accounts and false identities belonging to David Wallace, also known as David McNeil.

Earlier this month, a judge at Preston Crown Court ordered Wallace to repay £365,000 of his criminal gains, or have three-and-a-half years added to his three-year prison sentence.

The court ruled Wallace, of Belmont Avenue, Blackpool, had made £600,000 through illegal means.

Formerly a detective constable, Mr Todd has been a financial investigator for Lancashire Police for 14 years, and said this case was one of the largest and more difficult cases he’d worked on.

He received a letter from Chief Con Steve Finnigan this week, thanking him for his efforts in the case.

Mr Todd said: “It was hard work.

“I’ve had similar cases in the past, but this is up there for the time it took to recover the money.”

“There was a lot of money going through a lot of bank accounts, some set up abroad in Poland, Turkey and New Zealand.

“It was a very sophisticated operation and the judge said it was an extremely complex case staggered with meticulous planning.”

The £365,000 owed by Wallace, 67, will go back into fighting crime if he repays it.

Mr Todd said: “I think getting results like this is like a personal justice for the work I’ve put into investigating the crime.

“Criminals like Wallace should not be able to do their crime and come back to all the money they’ve gained waiting for them, we need to be removing it.

“It’s important that people are not seen to be enjoying their criminal gains for the rest of their lives.

“It’s only right that people see that we will keep chasing a criminal debt that is owed – we are not going to go away.”

Wallace pleaded guilty to 10 counts of fraud and one count of money laundering in May 2011. He was sentenced at the crown court on May 3.