Pay back £425,000, two are ordered

A DINNER lady and her former partner must repay almost half a million pounds of criminal funds.

Karen Schofield, 50, and Craig Rooks, 44, were ordered to pay it back after being found guilty of money laundering and drug offences.

Judge Alistair McCallum ordered Rooks to repay £346,725.07 while Schofield was ordered to return £78,332.08.

Rooks will sell his home at Badger Wood, Todmorden, and contribute a further £200,000 to cover the amount.

He described the amount as “pocket money” to police after the confiscation order was handed down.

Schofield confirmed her house at Lower Laithe, Todmorden, will be sold alongside her Ford Fiesta to cover the sum.

Schofield had been given a 12-month community order and 120 hours’ community service after being found guilty of laundering criminal property and obtaining a money transfer by deception at a trial in July last year.

Rooks, labelled as the main instigator in the fraud during July’s sentencing at Bradford Crown Court, was handed a nine-month suspended sentence.

He pleaded guilty to fraud and extra charges regarding possession of 663g of amphetamine and more than 400 diazepam tablets.

Detective Sergeant Bill Hargreaves said: “This was a complex and lengthy investigation.

“They were both found guilty which enabled the police to seize those assets that have been criminally obtained.

“They might not have received the sentence the people of Todmorden anticipated, but this confiscation means Rooks and Schofield will not enjoy the fruits of their criminal activities. Should they default on the payments they will not only serve a lengthy sentence but will also have to pay the full amount of the confiscation order.”

Rooks and Schofield were given a six-month deadline to pay the money, which totalled £425,057.15.