Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford pair must return £220k of drugs money

Composite photo: Caterina De Filippo, Domenico Masciopinto and Palma De Filippo Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Caterina De Filippo, Domenico Masciopinto and Palma De Filippo (left to right) were sentenced for concealing criminal proceeds

A husband and wife from Bedford must return more than £220,000 of drugs money which was buried in their garden.

Domenico Masciopinto, 35, was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2012 for drug-dealing.

From prison he told his now estranged wife Giulia Masciopinto, 37, to unearth cash buried in their Bedford garden.

At Aylesbury Crown Court, the pair and two other relatives were ordered to return £222,251 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

That was on top of £121,736 seized from Domenico following the discovery of the stash.

Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption The court heard some of the cash had turned so mouldy it could no longer be used

In November 2015, Giulia was jailed for nine months for her involvement in digging up the cash. Her mother Caterina De Filippo, 58, and sister Palma De Filippo, 28, were given 12-month sentences for helping her.

The court heard that in 2013 officers recovered £270,000 in cash at the home of Guilia in Redhall Close and Caterina's home in Harrowden Road in Bedford.

The majority was suspected to have previously been hidden in a holdall buried in the garden of the home Domenico shared with Giulia in Harrowden Road, Bedford.

Det Insp Chris Day said: "Domenico Masciopinto thought he was above the law and that he could squirrel away his ill-gotten gains for when he was released from prison.

"We have been able to recover a large amount of cash and also obtain orders on the family members who had used their bank accounts to hide some of his profits."

A number of the notes were mouldy and had been placed in freezer bags.

The court heard that Giulia was told to take some of the money for a holiday.

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