The owners of Wildcat Labs made millions selling steroids but pocketed unemployment benefits for a decade.
Christopher Young and Tracy Robinson were the owners and operators of the underground steroid laboratory called Wildcat Research Labs. They made millions sellings anabolic steroids and never bothered getting a real job. But this didn’t stop them from filing for unemployment and receiving government benefits for the previous 10 years.
Young and Robinson were found to have earned over £2.3 million ($2.97 million) from their illegal steroid enterprise. Wildcat Research Labs afforded the couple the opportunity to live a lavish lifestyle.
Wildcat Research Labs owners must pay back ill-gotten gains and unemployment benefits.
Judge William Ashworth noted that the couple regularly traveled around the world, purchased multiple vehicles, purchased property interests in Bulgaria as well as two properties in Sussex includig a 6-bedroom house valued at £430,000.
Judge Ashworth was disgusted at the greed displayed by the couple. They were making all kinds of money, albeit illegally, selling anabolic steroids. They did not feel the need to work a legitimate job. And felt entitled to claim unemployment benefits.
“[With the] large amounts of money coming in from drug sales,” Judge Ashworth noted, “the fact that you continued to claim benefits for 10 years would be something that the public would be aghast at”.
Young and Robinson will be required to return all of the ill-gotten government welfare money as well as the proceeds of the crime under the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS). The Sussex Police financial crime experts have already identified £1.31 million in recoverable assets belonging to the couple.
The Portsmouth Crown Court granted a confiscation order for the full £1.31 million during a hearing on February 11, 2019.
“This was a significant confiscation of money and assets which in time will benefit our policing resources, and communities in Sussex…” according to Sussex Police Detective Inspector Mark O’Brien. “The fact that we have seized and now confiscated their assets will impact on and hopefully deter Young and Robinson from following a criminal lifestyle when they eventually leave prison.”
The Sussex Police shut down Wildcat Research Labs during a raid on May 16, 2017. Police investigators seized 14 liters of injectable liquid steroids, dozens of kilograms of unprocessed steroid powders and 433,000 tablets of various oral steroids and ancillary bodybuilding drugs like Clomid and Viagra.
Young and Robinson each pleaded guilty to various counts of money laundering, possessing, producing and possessing with intent to supply Class C drugs (anabolic steroids) and income support / employment support allowance fraud, tax credit fraud and council tax benefit fraud.
In April 2018, the Wildcat Research Labs owners were sentenced to nine years and three years in prison, respectively. Young received the longer sentence because he was the undisputed leader of the operation. However, Robinson was not spared prison because she participated and financially benefited.
Burrows, R. (February 14, 2019). Bognor couple who ran illegal steroid lab ordered to pay back £1.3m. Retrieved from spiritfm.net/news/sussex-news/2806336/bognor-couple-who-ran-illegal-steroid-lab-ordered-to-pay-back-13m/