Huyton cigarette smuggler
has to repay £340k
convicted cigarette smuggler from Huyton has been ordered to repay £340,000 or
face a further 4 years in jail.
Stephen Nicholas Riozzi, 53, has been given 3 months to pay the confiscation
order or serve the extra jail time.
During investigations into Riozzi’s finances after his original arrest in 2011,
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that he had amassed a substantial property
portfolio in the UK and abroad.
Zoe Ellerbeck, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:-
“Riozzi profited from the illegal trade in smuggled cigarettes and
counterfeit tobacco and now has to repay his criminal profits. HMRC is committed
to recovering money stolen from UK Taxpayers whether it is hidden here or
We urge anyone with information about the commercial trading of smuggled goods
and the associated Tax evasion in the Merseyside area to contact us on:- 0800 59
His Honour Judge Wright at Liverpool Crown Court accepted that Riozzi had been
living a lifestyle well beyond his declared income and that his properties were
bought with the criminal profits associated with the illegal trade in smuggled
cigarettes and Tax evasion.
Riozzi, of The Park, Huyton, was caught at an industrial unit in Knowsley in
December 2011 with huge quantities of illegal cigarettes and counterfeit
tobacco. He was arrested by HMRC, but gave investigators a false address and
denied any knowledge of the tobacco products.
In March 2014 he was jailed for 53 months after pleading guilty at an earlier
hearing to 2 counts of fraud.
The Court determined that he had benefited
by £913,863 from his crimes, linked to 5.5 million smuggled cigarettes
discovered at a Knowsley industrial unit.