Ex-brothel owner ordered to repay £650,000 gained through crime
- Credit: Archant
The ex-owner of a Weston brothel has been ordered to pay back £650,000 as part of a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
At a hearing held on July 24, Bristol Crown Court was told Natalie Davis had financially benefited from her criminality.
Davis, aged 52, of Bristol Road in Hewish, was sentenced in January 2019 after admitting controlling prostitution for financial gain over a 10-year period at Butterfly’s Massage Parlour, which was run out of a flat in Alexandra Parade since 2007, while claiming benefits for not being able to walk.
In August 2019, she was prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for benefit fraud she committed while managing the brothel.
Police and the DWP have since worked together to arrange a confiscation order against Davis.
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She was found to have assets to the value of £650,000 and therefore ordered to pay the full amount to the court.
From this money, the amount which she had defrauded the DWP will be paid back to them in compensation.
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Dr Kirstie Cogram, manager of Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s complex crime unit, said: “We are committed to seizing any assets gained as a result of criminal activity.
“It is not acceptable that criminals, such as Natalie Davis, benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their proceeds are taken away from them.
“We hope cases such as this show criminals that they will not be allowed to benefit from crime.”
As part of the police’s investigation, plain clothed officers visited the premises on three occasions during which they were offered sexual services.
No sexual activity took place as all the officers made excuses and left immediately after the offers were made.
An investigation into the business’ finances revealed Davis was profiting from the sexual services offered by its employees and she laundered the money through her personal accounts.
The DWP later found Davis wrongfully claimed nearly £18,000 in disability benefits and used the money to fund luxurious holidays.