Prostitute to repay £540,000 paid by Woodley fraudsterBy Paul Cassell
October 18, 2012
A prostitute will have to repay more than £540,000 paid to her by a Woodley conman.
Tanja Wieck received the stolen cash from Paul Hopes who was jailed for seven years in December 2009 for embezzling £3.68m from Toys ‘R’ Us while working as a manager at the company’s Maidenhead store.
Hopes, a former finance director of Berks and Bucks Football Association, passed cash from his employer into her bank account as he led a secret life of luxury hotels, cars and expensive call girls, unknown to his then wife Gillian.
Judge Stephen John ordered receivers to recover the assets she had accrued under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Reading Crown Court on Monday, October 8.
He said: “So as far as Ms Wieck is concerned on her own account she received over a period of 16 to 17 months the sums of money comfortably exceeding £500,000 for providing sexual services, although she doesn’t use those terms, to the defendant Paul Hopes.
“Far from the whole of that money is still available. It has been spent by her and she can have no possible complaint if enforcement now follows, which it will.”
The court heard Ms Wieck used £200,000 of this sum to pay for a house in Warfield, estimated to be valued at £300,000, and she received thousands of pounds in regular monthly payments.
Hopes also gave her extra money for her lavish lifestyle she described as a “costume allowance” and splashed out £36,500 on a BMW 325i M Sport convertible for her.
The now divorced father-of-two, who appeared in the dock at the hearing, was previously handed a confiscation order to pay back £3.36 million or face a further 10 years in jail.
Cash raised from the selling of Ms Wieck’s assets will be put towards the debt.
Ms Wieck had bought the house with her boyfriend at the time and had claimed to have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had suffered a miscarriage.
Her barrister James Bogle tried to get the case adjourned because of her medical condition, an accountancy report and papers not being served but this was dismissed by Judge John.
Last year receivers were appointed to seize £1.7 million from Dawn Dunbar, another prostitute hired by Hopes.
Hopes’ lawyer Nigel Daly said his client was due to be freed from prison on licence next April, but due to the amount owing he was unlikely to be released. He said: “The sentence is coming to an end but he will be in breach of the orders that have been made.”