Anthony Nixon, Samantha Nixon and Mark Spencer, all of Leeds, and Karen Jackson of Rothwell were given suspended sentences and community orders when they appeared before Leeds Crown Court on Friday.
Nixon and Nixon pleaded guilty to conspiring to obtain money transfers by deception and money laundering offences and Spencer and Jackson were also found guilty of conspiring to obtain a money transfer by deception.
Anthony Nixon was given a 12 months suspended sentence for two years and 250 hours community work, Samantha Nixon was given 12 months suspended sentence for two years and 200 hours work, Spencer was handed a 12 months suspended sentence for 2 years and 250 hours community work, and Jackson was given a community order for 18 months and 150 hours unpaid work.
A fifth man, Ronald Ripley of Normanton, has pleaded guilty to money laundering offences in connection with this investigation and is due to be sentenced at a later date.
In 2006 the police started to look at the Nixons’ lifestyle, which included the purchase of substantial residential and buy-to-let properties in and around the Leeds area, as well as the purchase of expensive cars and holidays.
Anthony Nixon bought a property in Morley for £160,000 with a mortgage that was found to be fraudulent in 1999 and later sold the house at an overinflated price of £495,000 to Jackson, who used funds obtained by deception to purchase the property.
She was aided by Spencer, who was a mutual acquaintance of both the Nixons and Jackson and acted as an introducer.
Confiscation proceedings have now begun and could see cash and assets taken away from the defendants.