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Ex-gangster Terry Adams loses appeal over how much he must pay back

A former gangster has lost his appeal over how much he has to pay back from his days of crime.

Terry Adams, of the Clerkenwell syndicate also known as the Adams Family, said he had insufficient funds to meet a debt of £651,611.

A confiscation order of £750,000 was imposed in 2007 after he was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to conceal the proceeds of crime through money-laundering.

By August 2014, when High Court judge Mrs Justice Nicola Davies refused his application for a certificate of inadequacy to begin the process of getting a reduction, £651,611 was outstanding.

The order is still incurring interest and now stands at more than £700,000.

On Monday, Lord Just ice Longmore, Lord Justice Hamblen and Lord Justice Irwin in the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court decision.

Adams told the judge he was so broke that he felt ''like a ponce'' living off his actress wife Ruth and denied having hidden assets that were funding a lavish lifestyle.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) opposed his application, saying there was a strong case that Adams possessed ''substantial undisclosed assets''.

The judge said she was not satisfied that Adams had provided "full and candid disclosure".

By January 2012, any identified lawful funds from the sale of their former home were exhausted yet the couple carried on an expensive lifestyle.

Adams described as "laughable" CPS claims they had an annual expenditure of £97,000.

He denied he was using his wife, family and associates to create a sham income and loans to pay for visits to the opera and top restaurants, spa memberships and treatment at private clinics.

His counsel, Ivan Krolick, told the Court of Appeal the judge got it wrong against the weight of the evidence while Kennedy Talbot QC, for the CPS, said her decision was "fully justified".

They concluded the judge's finding on the evidence that Adams had an undisclosed reserve of funds involved no arguable error of law and was by no means unreasonable.

They rejected the criticisms made of the judge's treatment of the evidence.

"The finding that Mr Adams had not discharged the burden of proof upon him was neither unreasonable nor against the weight of the evidence," said Lord Justice Hamblen.

Nick Price, from the CPS, said: " Criminals will go to great lengths in an attempt to preserve the proceeds of their crimes and Terry Adams is no exception.

"We have presented our case carefully and thoroughly and I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that he is able to pay off this debt.

"Attempting to hide assets and claim poverty is not a new tactic.

"The CPS are used to dealing with such claims and will deal with them robustly.

"Depriving criminals of their wealth disrupts organised crime and the CPS works closely with investigators to ensure that we can take back assets from those who look to benefit from crime."

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