Just Â£1 to be paid back from brothel earnings
A woman who lived off the proceeds of a Scotland-wide sex-for-sale business run from her Kirkcaldy flat has been ordered to pay back just Â£1 of her ill-gotten gains.
Ana Calder’s then-boyfriend Jose Barbosa built a criminal empire from their small flat near Starks Park, recruiting women from Brazil to sell their bodies in eight towns and cities across the country.
They took a cut of the women’s earnings and raked £150,000 before the vice ring was smashed.
Calder laundered some of the earnings through her bank account – and used about £16,000 of it to pay her day-to-day expenses.
On Wednesday Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court was told the “general criminal conduct” netted a benefit of £81,569 but that Calder’s recoverable assets were only £1.
The Crown Office said the nominal confiscation order means it can chase her for more cash in future.
Earlier this year Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard how Barbosa and Calder came to Scotland from Brazil and used women from their homeland in the prostitution business.
Their Kirkcaldy flat was the nerve centre of the operation.
The couple searched the internet for women already selling sex in Brazil, contacted them through their online adverts and encouraged them to come and work in Scotland.
The women, aged between 28 and 48, were set up in one of a dozen rented flats Barbosa and Calder ran as brothels in Kirkcaldy, Perth, Dundee, Dunfermline, Stirling, Hamilton, Falkirk and Alva.
The rented flats were then sublet to the women, who were trafficked between them.
Barbosa, who was jailed last year for three years for his part in the scheme, charged the women for rent and advertising their services online, giving them names like Amazing Gabriella, Hot Sara and Amazing Julia.
The couple lived modestly and took care not to flaunt the large sums they were making.
Police were tipped-off in 2013 that Barbosa was a pimp and an operation, codenamed Wolfberry, was launched. Officers watched as he toured his flats, visiting several of them in a day, collecting wads of cash from the women and putting it in the bank.
Undercover police then went to the flats and found sex workers in almost all of them.
Fiscal depute Siobhan Monks said: “Large sums of money had been deposited in a bank account in the name of Calder.
“She had no legitimate source of income and the day-to-day living costs were from the proceeds of prostitution.”
The court heard that Calder allowed Barbosa and the prostitutes to put money in her account. She was fully aware it came from vice.
Calder arrived in the UK on a tourist visa in 2002 and later married an Englishman.
The marriage did not last and she met Barbosa in 2008. He had left Brazil after a car business he was involved in failed, leaving him with debts of POUNDS 100,000.
Miss Monks said that when Calder met Barbosa, she was unemployed and not getting benefits. She was “fully financially dependent” on him.
Calder, 36, of Windsor, Berkshire, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
She admitted that between August 12 2013 and February 20 2014 she “converted and transferred” criminal property - the proceeds of prostitution - totalling POUNDS 16,925 while working with Jose Barbosa.
Calder admitted paying the money into a Santander bank account held in her name and using it to pay her own day to day living expenses.
Defence solicitor David Cranston said: “Some people make their money in morally dubious or morally reprehensible ways.
“She fell in love with someone who did so.”
Sheriff James Williamson imposed a community payback order with two years’ supervision and 160 hours unpaid work in the original case and set confiscation hearing dates.
A confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act has been made in the sum of £1.
A Crown Office spokesman said: “Despite making significant amounts of money from crime, some individuals have no available assets at the time the case against them is proved in court.
“In such cases, a nominal order is made against them for £1.
“This ensures that the Crown can confiscate any assets they obtain in the future up to the amount they made from their criminal activity by making an application to the court to vary the confiscation order allowing these assets to be confiscated.”