A conman who stole £4.5million was ordered to pay back just £1,015 – after blowing his ill gotten gains on escorts and holidays.
Neil Bartlett, 53, posed as a financial adviser offering to invest pensions and life savings into a safe account to earn interest.
Instead he splurged the cash on prostitutes, foreign trips and stock market gambles.
His callous cons even saw him defraud an elderly woman for whom he had power of attorney and steal £740,000 from friends he had known since pre-school.
Bartlett, of Delamere Road, Ainsdale, was locked up for eight years in December after pleading guilty to 14 counts of fraud, Lancs Live reports .
He had been arrested a month earlier after flying back into Manchester Airport from Russia, where he had been enjoying a life of luxury with his ill-gotten gains.
His case was brought back into the Liverpool Crown Court on Friday after a Proceeds of Crime Act case was launched against him to reclaim the £1,015 he had been carrying in cash when arrested at the airport.
According to BBC News, Bartlett refused to attend the hearing on Friday where details of his crimes were again laid out.
Despite Bartlett’s con totalling millions of pounds, the court was only able to demand the money found during the arrest be given up.
But Merseyside Police say the possibility of more money being reclaimed in future remains open.
A force spokesperson said: “The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 allows, under section 22 of the Act, for the Court to reconsider the available amount ie the value of assets that come into the possession of the defendant after a Confiscation Order is made.
"This would include future remuneration, inheritances, gambling wins, profits from a book sale etc.
“To be able to utilise this provision a Confiscation Order must have been made in the matter and there must remain a differential between what was originally held to be available and the amount determined by the Court to be the Benefit from the individuals criminality.
“In the case of Bartlett, his Benefit Amount was set at just under £4,500,000.00 and the Available Amount was a little over £1,000.00.
"This means that if Bartlett came into funds we could go back to Court and take the remaining £4.5million from him.
“Without an Order we could not make use of the section 22 provisions.”
During his court case in December, one victim told the court: “I cannot forgive him for what he has done.
"I feel he came back into our lives, and whilst we welcomed him back he has just abused all trust. He calculated what he was doing and groomed us.
“He has taken £450,000 from myself, my partner, my parents and my other best friend.
"We have all worked hard all our lives to accumulate that money and it was our future security. He then blew the lot on prostitutes, escorts and expensive holidays.
“I do not want to know or see him ever again and hope he gets the maximum sentence possible while we try to pick up the pieces and plan for our uncertain future.”
Another said: “It goes without saying that I wish I had never met Bartlett, except that I now know that no-one, no matter how well you think you know them, no matter what their supposed field of expertise, can be trusted when it comes to money.
“No-one was too vulnerable, no matter how old, no matter how wealthy, no matter how well he knew you, Bartlett would take your money.
"No matter what questions you had, he schmoozed you with his charm, baffled you with his purported insider knowledge of the tricks of the trade.
“He encouraged you to persuade your friends and family to invest with him, enticing you with promises of commission. He has no conscience, he is morally devoid.”
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