A FAMILY who funded a luxury lifestyle during a seven-year deception laundering cash have been ordered to repay almost three-quarters of a million pounds of their ill-gotten gains.
Career crook Gwynne Hollis – father of Emmerdale actress Kelli Hollis – his partner Sharon Miller, and her mother Joan Miller deposited large sums of cash in their bank accounts and used some of it to buy a property in Spain worth £153,000.
In June last year Hollis, 55, was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property, two offences of converting criminal property and one of transferring criminal property.
Sharon Miller, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to convert criminal property and converting criminal property. Joan Miller, 72, was found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property and converting criminal property.
Both women were given community orders and told to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.
All three were brought back to Leeds Crown Court this week to face a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The court heard Hollis benefitted to the sum of £333,046 as a result of his criminal conduct. He was ordered to pay the amount within six months or face being jailed for three years. Sharon Miller was ordered to pay £218,272 and Joan Miller was ordered to pay £182,324 within the same period.
At their sentencing hearing last year, the court heard all three were part of a close-knit family.
Hollis and Sharon Miller lived together live at a property on Common Lane, East Ardsley, near Leeds and her mother lived within the grounds of her daughter’s home. All three were arrested in March 2010 by police who were acting on intelligence.
A financial investigation revealed significant sums were paid into their accounts between 2003 and 2010, for which there was no legitimate explanation.
Michael Smith, prosecuting, said: “Given that neither Sharon Miller nor Joan Miller worked, the irresistible inference is that the bulk of the criminal property originated from the activities of Gwynne Hollis. Given his background in drugs, the inference would be that he was the source of the money.”
During 2005, sums were transferred to a company to pay for a property in Spain. In October 2008 Hollis paid £72,000 in cash for a house on Heathcroft Crescent, Leeds.
Judge Penelope Belcher said: “It was systematic criminal conduct over a significant period to fund a lifestyle which was not a breadline lifestyle.”
In 1999, Hollis played the part of a ruthless drugs baron in acclaimed TV drama Tina Goes Shopping.
Two years later he was jailed for a real-life drug offence after being caught in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of more than £30,000. Hollis admitted possession of almost two kilos of amphetamine with intent to supply.
Also in 2001 his daughter Kelly, who played the title role in Tina Goes Shopping and who now plays the part of Ali Spencer in the Dales soap, wept in court as her father was jailed.
Tina Goes Shopping, which earned a Bafta nomination, plucked council tenants from Leeds to portray life on a fictitious estate.
Hollis, an unemployed labourer at the time, said in an interview that he found acting “a doddle” but hated playing the part of a drug dealer in the film. He said: “I know it goes on but I would never deal in drugs.”